MasterCard has announced an innovative new system using text messaging to stamp out credit card fraud.
The system, developed in conjunction with the SMS specialists mBlox, will alert credit card holders immediately via SMS should any purchase be made on their account to arouse suspicion.
The recipient will then have the opportunity to contest a suspicious transaction.
Text message alerts are sent immediately, avoiding the delays currently created by call centres taking up to 24 hours to phone credit card holders for confirmation of suspicious payments.
The system also avoids the log-jams sometimes experienced on the normal SMS server, as mBlox has its own SMS equipment.
Johan Gerber, associate vice president of risk products at MasterCard, has called the new service a "milestone" in the company's push to improve its customer services.
"MasterCard is determined to work with its banking customers to improve the detection of credit card fraud and ensure consumers enjoy an increasingly secure banking experience," Mr Gerber stated.
The system should be fully functional in Europe by late 2005. Other continents will follow. To find the best credit card for you, click here.
© DeHavilland Information Services plc