Improving Card Security: Discover Freezes Fraud

by on May 18, 2015

discoverbusinesscardPayment card fraud is an issue that concerns financial firms, business, and customers alike. According to an article from Fidelity National Information Services, payment card fraud could reach $10 billion or more in 2015, and a survey conducted by KRC Research in 2014 found that the majority of respondents were more likely to be concerned with personal credit or debit card security (93%) than with their own overall health (84%). With this in mind it is no surprise that financial institutions are constantly developing new safety measures, and some of the most interesting innovations are safety measures that allow customers to have a greater hand in protecting themselves.  Discover recently made a leap forward with its release of Freeze It, a new security feature that allows clients to quickly freeze new purchases, cash advances or balance transfers on their credit card accounts from the firm’s website or mobile app.

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The tool is the first of its kind to be offered on the mobile app of a major U.S. financial firm. Due to its speed and simplicity, it is a welcome improvement over previous methods of handling suspected fraud. Other issuers require a more time consuming process, expecting clients to call a customer service representative to deactivate and then later reactivate a card. Discover’s Freeze It feature provides the same level of protection with the click of a button. Minimizing the wait time to freeze the account after realizing a card may be lost or stolen should cut down on fraudulent transactions and give customers greater peace of mind.

While Discover is the only credit card issuer with the ability to freeze a line of credit from its mobile app, similar features do exist in banking. Capital One 360 allows clients to deactivate a debit card from the website or mobile app with one click. This feature stops the card from making purchases or ATM transactions, but does not freeze the account entirely. All financial firms should encourage the development of tools that allow clients to proactively monitor their own security. As clients continuously seek stringent security measures in light of recurring data breaches, more firms will undoubtedly begin to adopt similar features on their banking and credit card apps.