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O2 creates ‘world first’ in combating international card fraud

Alex Yau
January 20, 2016

The network has partnered with card issuer MBNA to trial the new service with thousands of customers

O2 and MBNA have created a new service which they claim is a world first for slashing international debit and credit card fraud numbers.

The network has worked with the card issuer to trial the new Travel Alert service. Thousands of MBNA customers have been testing the service which uses a UK cardholder’s mobile network to notify a bank when a user is abroad. Those who opt in to the service won’t have the hassle of notifying their bank when they travel out of the UK. O2 claims this reduces the likelihood of banks declining transactions because of suspected fraud.

According to the UK Cards Association, fraud committed on UK-issued cards overseas totalled £150 million last year. The average amount being stolen from individual accounts was around £2,000.

O2 plans to make the service available to everyone before the summer, regardless of their bank or mobile provider.

O2 head of global product development Glyn Povah said: “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.”

MBNA head of mobile and digital Phil Weston added: “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.”

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