O2 launches mobile travel alerts to reduce card fraud and declines abroad

O2 logo

British mobile phone operator, O2, have announced a pioneering new service to help protect travellers against overseas fraud, called Travel Alerts from O2.

With the service, rather than notifying your bank every time you go abroad, you simply opt into Travel Alerts for your card issuer to be notified when O2 detects your mobile roaming in a different country.

As most of us are ever more that a metre away from our mobile phone, if you’re making a card transaction overseas and your mobile phone is in the same country, your card issuer is more likely to accept the transaction because it’s highly likely that you are the card user.

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.

The technology could save time and remove the hassle of needlessly blocked cards for legitimate transactions abroad, meaning that in theory, you should be able to access your money when you need it, wherever you are.

“We’re very proud to have created this world-first new technology to help address the growing issue of card fraud. 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.”

– Glyn Povah, Head of O2 Global Product Development

The service is currently being trialled by thousands of MBNA customers who have chosen to opt into the service and the plan is to roll the service out to UK residents regardless of bank or mobile operator.

“We’re always looking for new ways to innovate and make processes easier for our customers. 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.”

– Phil Weston, head of Mobile and Digital Communications at MBNA