With the explosion of payment-card data breaches last year, Experian Data Breach Resolution has enhanced its award-winning active fraud surveillance and identity theft resolution product, Experian's ProtectMyID®, by collaborating with BillGuard, a leading card fraud monitoring mobile application.
With this extra layer of protection, breached organizations offering ProtectMyID to their affected customers, employees and patients are providing the most comprehensive product in the market for any kind of data breach, including exposure of Social Security numbers or credit-card and debit-card numbers.
Members of Experian's ProtectMyID can now download the BillGuard mobile app and access both their ProtectMyID alerts and BillGuard features within the BillGuard mobile app. Named one of the Best Apps of 2014, BillGuard is available for download for iPhone® and Android™ devices via the Apple App StoreSM or Google Play™ store.
Retail data breaches have affected millions of consumers, and the cost of credit-card and debit-card fraud rose to $11 billion in 2013, up $3 billion since 2012.1 In fact, the theft of payment-card information concerned a majority of consumers (64 percent) this past holiday shopping season, according to a national consumer survey sponsored by Experian Data Breach Resolution. Data breaches affected the way consumers shopped with 36 percent of respondents paying with cash more frequently and 21 percent avoiding payment with a debit card at a store that had experienced a data breach.
"While Experian's ProtectMyID's current surveillance for various fraud types are one of the best ways to monitor for identity theft and fraud, we wanted to expand our product to address a wider variety of breaches," said Michael Bruemmer, vice president, Experian Consumer Protection. "A breached organization should offer the best protection available as a step toward rebuilding a positive reputation with its customers. We are confident consumers will be very impressed with BillGuard's data breach alerts and crowd-sourced card monitoring features along with the ProtectMyID benefits that are now all accessible in one place."
BillGuard Chief Executive Officer Yaron Samid added, "Data breaches have become inevitable and we hear the same recommendation every time: consumers must vigilantly monitor their financial accounts and report suspicious activity immediately. BillGuard's data-driven mission is to help consumers with that daunting task by making it extremely easy to check your accounts, and we're proud to partner with Experian, a leading information services company, to bring much needed protection and peace of mind to millions of rightfully anxious cardholders."
Experian's ProtectMyID with BillGuard provides a fast, easy and user-friendly solution for surveillance of fraudulent transactions that fills a need in the market. The survey also indicated:
- Most consumers (55 percent of respondents) feel that monitoring financial transactions is challenging
- More than 40 percent of respondents believe monitoring financial transactions is too time-consuming
- Consumers rely heavily on their bank or card issuer alerting them to fraud (71 percent of respondents)
Bank analyst reports show, however, that financial institutions detect less than half of card fraud, leaving cardholders to catch the rest or personally absorb the financial loss.2 It is no surprise that among New Year's resolutions on this topic, survey respondents selected monitoring payment-card transactions more often (32 percent) and in more detail (29 percent) as top goals for 2015.
"It is reassuring to see one of the three main credit bureaus partner with a startup that analyzes consumers' card statements for anomalous charges that consumers likely wouldn't otherwise spot. It's reassuring to see that market demand drives innovation and that, in this case, consumers can finally get what they need and deserve," commented Gartner Security Analyst Avivah Litan.
Comprehensive suite of features
The Experian's ProtectMyID active fraud surveillance and identity theft resolution suite includes a free copy of the member's Experian credit report, daily credit monitoring with alerts to new inquiries or newly opened accounts, and Internet scanning, which continually monitors online sources where compromised credit/debit-card and Social Security numbers are found, traded or sold.
Complementing these benefits, the BillGuard mobile app alerts cardholders of suspicious transactions that have posted to their credit/debit-cards and bank accounts. Additional features include:
- Card-location alerts — Alerts cardholders when their credit card or debit card is used at a store or ATM away from their phone, using geolocation data from their mobile phone
- Data-breach monitoring and alerts — Alerts cardholders when they have shopped at a merchant during a known or suspected breach period, helping them immediately monitor their cards for fraud
- Spend tracking and analytics — Helps consumers stay on top of exactly where their money is going with visual analytics and a quick, email-like transaction review
- Card concierge — Cardholders can resolve billing inquiries and disputes with merchants directly from within the BillGuard app