MasterCard launches SMS fraud alert system

MasterCard launches SMS fraud alert system

MasterCard has teamed with mBlox, a provider of mobile messaging services, to launch a fraud prevention system that enables banks to use SMS text messages to report suspicious card transactions to customers.

The system is based on MasterCard's fraud detection tool, Aristion, with SMS functionality added by mBlox.

Customers who have registered for the service will be sent a text message if the bank registers a suspicious payment on their card. Customers can then notify the bank of any fraudulent transactions immediately. MasterCard says the speed of response means cards can be blocked quickly, reducing the number of fraudulent transactions and costs to the bank.

Suspicious transactions are usually dealt with manually and customers are usually notified by call centre staff. MasterCard says the text-based system will cut response times by up to 90% and reduce operational costs for bank by between 20 and 30%.

Andrew Bud, executive chairman of mBlox, says: "SMS is a very powerful tool for financial institutions, and we built our global, carrier-grade infrastructure to meet this high standard."

Banks can integrate the SMS-enabled system with existing fraud detection platforms and write rules that will automatically trigger an SMS message. The system's pre-defined connections to the mBlox mobile infrastructure means the bank does not have to integrate its fraud systems with individual mobile operators or service providers.

MasterCard has launched the service globally but is concentrating initial efforts in Europe due to the high use of mobile phones in the region. Throughout 2005 the service will be extended to Asia Pacific, SAMEA and later to North America.

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