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Telefonica and TeleSign join forces to bring travel alerts

Telefonica and TeleSign have joined forces to bring “travel alerts” which promise to “take the worry out of making card payments when abroad”.

It is also said the service is “proven to reduce overall operational and fraud management cost to financial services organisations”.

According to the press release, the service provides “travel alerts” to the participating credit card provider or bank when a customer switches their phone on in a new country.

The provider uses these "travel alerts” to verify any card payment made in that country. All a customer needs to opt-in is to provide their mobile number to their participating bank or credit card provider.

The solution is optimised to work with even the most basic phones and no app, or roaming data is required.

The two companies stressed that customers are in complete control of their data, and that location data shared is only used to verify a particular user’s country-location.

The data is “processed in highly-secure systems using encryption that meets strict regulatory requirements”, and users can terminate the participation at any point through their bank.

The two companies are currently working to bring as many mobile network operators and banks into the fold, in order to expand globally.

This is a cross carrier initiative that is expected to roll out on other carriers in the second half of 2015.

Phil Weston, Head of Mobile & Digital Communications at MBNA said “The trial proved extremely successful with a marked reduction in operational costs driven by a decrease in customer calls to advise of travel plans and a positive impact on card approval rates. We’re looking forward to rolling this out beyond a trial when available on other carriers.”

Phil Douty, Director B.I & Big Data Monetisation at Telefónica added: “Given all the strong fraud prevention benefits and customer experience improvements seen in the trial with MBNA, we now want to help create a standard that is used by multiple mobile carriers and banks across the world.”