Visa is known for its commitment to consumer safety. It’s often led the way in all things technological when it comes to protecting their customers’ safety. It’s a mighty task and we thought we’d check in with the credit card giant to see what it’s doing and how well those measures are covering the American consumer.
The fact is, every time great efforts are made in credit card safety, there’s always another criminal waiting to outsmart the engineers. Still, Visa remains committed to consumer safety and here’s how:
Visa’s incredible technology allows it to monitor unusual activity around the clock. Referred to as its “fraud screening solutions”, these advances scan for suspicious activity and immediately lets users and their financial institutions know. It’s a powerful process that has protected millions of consumers. It also alerts your bank or credit card company that a hold is recommended when it appears obvious efforts are being made to fraudulently use your credit card.
These holds have saved untold consumers from frustrating and time consuming efforts to pick up the pieces after the damage has been done. It’s very proactive (versus reactive) and it works well. Consumers, if the efforts are legitimate, can easily remove those holds without a lot of brouhaha. Maintaining contact with its customers is also key. It works to make the entire process very efficient and streamlined.
Here’s a bit more about Visa’s ongoing efforts:
As we mentioned, Visa monitors for unusual activity around the clock. Its e-commerce fraud detection system is the first of its kind to use “current worldwide fraud trends and global payment-card usage patterns to provide a comprehensive assessment of transaction risk”. The foundation is built on an extensive data network system that’s constantly updated in real time – every few seconds – and it stores thousands of examples of valid purchase transactions and constantly updates cardholder data so future purchases can be evaluated against the most current profile.
Any time an authorization is requested and processed, it compares it to your unique transaction history. It also has established close relationships with the most relevant technology companies round the world and its own merchant partners to ensure that they operate as allies in the effort to keep consumer information safe.
Anytime it puts charges in a hold pattern, the goal is to quickly discern the legitimacy of those pending charges. It’s alerted any time the systems detect any kind of change in a customer’s spending patterns and behaviors. Any kind of questionable activity, such as entry of mismatched shipping and billing addresses, unusually large purchases, and changes in Social Security number or other personal data, Visa wastes no time in contacting the financial financial institution associated with the credit card account to suspend activity on the credit card. It keeps accounts safe and eliminates the possibility of further damage.
Keeping the consumer safe is key and the credit card giant works to notify the customer as soon as possible. It, along with your financial institution, keeps the customer in the loop without compromising safety or security in the process. The goal is to prevent loss and identity theft. If a consumer ever suspects fraud or sees suspicious charge on his monthly statement, all he has to do is report to his financial institution and the wheels begin to turn immediately.
While other credit card networks work tirelessly too with the same goal as Visa, this particular network often blazes forward with the latest and greatest in consumer safety mechanisms. Indeed, it’s the leader in the industry and for good reason. Visa is the most established credit card network in the world.
Visa encourages consumers to closely monitor their monthly statements, too. While you’re never liable for unauthorized charges on your Visa, it’s important to keep in mind that if your identity is stolen, there’s much more at stake than unauthorized credit card charges. A thief can assume your identity to open new bank accounts, establish new credit card accounts, write bad checks, obtain personal or car loans, or get cash advances – all in your name.
They may even set up cell phone or utility services and run up costly bills – all without you even knowing. Visa reports that a single instance of identity theft can negatively impact your credit score and may create problems – and for a very long time – if you need to obtain credit in the future.
Thieves use a variety of tactics to access their victim’s personal information. Often, they’ll pose as another person in order to gain the right kind of access to financial data. Worse, Visa reports the instances of family or close friends stealing identities is on the rise as well. They can plunder through trash, take advantage of a vulnerability in data networks or they may use the tried and true classic of picking pockets.
Visa recommends that consumers:
- Monitor your credit card and account statements online on a weekly basis.
- Report lost or stolen cards immediately and cancel all inactive accounts.
- If you’ve applied for a new card and don’t receive it in a timely manner, or if a replacement card is not received prior to your card’s expiration date, contact your financial institution immediately.
- Shred sensitive documents before disposing of them, install anti-virus and anti-spyware software on all computers, and change your passwords regularly.
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So have you ever been the victim of identity theft or had your credit card compromised? If so, how did your credit card network handle it? Let us know your story, whether it was your Visa credit card or another. We want to know how it was handled and how quickly it was resolved. Post in our comment section or visit our Facebook page and join in the conversation.