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O2 trials new service to tackle card fraud abroad

Wednesday, January 20th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

O2 is trialling a new service that uses customers' mobile phones to help protect them against payment card fraud when overseas.

Travel Alerts automatically notifies your card issuer when O2 detects your mobile roaming in a different country.

The service saves customers having to fill in a form or spend time on the phone notifying their bank every time they go abroad.

According to the UK Cards Association, fraud committed abroad on UK-issued cards increased by 23% to £150m in 2014, accounting for almost a third of total UK credit and debit card fraud.

Having card payments wrongly declined when abroad by issuers who suspect fraud is also a growing problem.

Travel Alerts – which is being trialled by O2 and credit card issuer MBNA – is designed to help prevent card fraud or decline.

If you make a card transaction overseas and your mobile phone is in the same country, your card issuer is more likely to accept the transaction.

Conversely, if the card transaction and mobile location don’t match, your card issuer can review the transaction request to help protect you against card fraud.

Glyn Povah, head of global product development, said: “Travel Alerts completely reinvents the process of liaising with your bank to update them on travel plans and using digital technology gives customers the power to update their bank in real-time.

“We’re really looking forward to Travel Alerts being available to everyone. This new technology will help take the hassle out of accessing our money overseas so we can get on with enjoying our time away.”

Phil Weston, head of mobile and digital communications at MBNA, added: “We’re delighted with the results from the Travel Alerts trial we’re running with O2.

“By using their mobile phone to update us in real time, customers no longer have to contact us each time they travel, and they’re less likely to be inconvenienced when using their card abroad.

“We look forward to rolling Travel Alerts out to all customers in the near future.”

O2 said it is looking to roll out the service to everyone, regardless of their bank or mobile provider, by the summer.

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