Does your bank provide SMS alerts for debit card transactions? If it does, do you use the service? According to an
article in the Times of India, with effect from July 2011, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has made it mandatory for ALL Indian banks to provide this service to debit card holders, and all debit card holders are required to register their mobile phone numbers
with their bank for this purpose.
Is this a good thing? Not everyone will want to provide their mobile phone number to their bank and some of us keep trying to reduce the number of texts we receive. That being said, I registered for this service as soon as my bank offered it to me, and
there is something reasssuring about the 'beep beep' of an incoming text letting me know that my card has just been used and stating in which country the transaction was made. SMS alerts are offered by many banks in Europe, although to the best of my knowledge
they are not mandatory in any country.
SMS alerts paid off for Axis Bank in India which detected a skimming attack at one of its ATMs, after customers who got SMS alerts of large withdrawals raised the alarm. Fraud prevention professionals in our banks work tirelessly to prevent, detect and
react to fraud incidents. Why not help them?
In an earlier blog on this site I stressed the need to
cover your PIN when using an ATM, or any payment terminal, as preventing PIN compromise limits what fraudsters can do with your card details if they succeed in obtaining them. That is your bit for fraud prevention. Why not help with fraud detection too?
If your bank provides an SMS alert service for debit card transactions, register for it and try it out. If your bank doesn't yet provide such a service, why not request that they do?