18 April 2011

Card holders can set ‘trigger amount’ for SMS alert on usage

PETALING JAYA: Credit card holders will be allowed to set a preferred threshold amount for an SMS alert to be triggered, said the Association of Banks Malaysia (ABM).

Its executive director Chuah Mei Lin said card issuers, who would send out the SMS alert, were mindful that customers should be given the benefit of choice.

“Only if they fail to set their preferred threshold will the transaction alert be based on the default amount set by the card issuer,” she said.

She also assured card holders that there would be no charges to receive nor reply the SMS alert and encouraged them to ensure that their contact numbers were up-to-date.

She said an SMS alert would be sent for transactions made at the point of sale, online purchases, withdrawals or cash advances, and mail and telephone orders.

Chuah was responding to a statement by Bank Negara that transaction alerts via SMS would be issued by Jan 1 next year in a bid to curb credit card fraud.

Card holders could then respond to the SMS and call the bank to cancel or alert police if the transaction was not made by them.

This came about after the arrest of seven postmen by police in connection with the interception of letters containing credit cards.

Chuah said most card issuers used courier services to deliver credit cards.

“All credit card holders are required to call their respective banks in order to activate their cards before transactions can be made,” she said, adding that the SMS alert would supplement existing fraud monitoring systems by card issuers.

National Cards Group chairman Vince Au Yoong said the SMS alerts would be sent out if a transaction amount crossed a set threshold.

“For example, if a customer deviates from his usual spending behaviour that is suspicious to his bank's fraud monitoring system, an alert will be triggered,” he said.

Au Yoong added that lost or stolen cards and online transactions were the two most frequent fraud cases recorded in the industry.

He said the Jan 1 deadline set by Bank Negara was necessary as it would take time to implement the SMS alert system.

Source: The Star Online

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