New Visa App Will Ease Credit Card Travel Woes

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Ever traveled far from home, but had the credit card company decline your purchase because they thought your card was stolen? This is a common scenario for travelers, and one that Visa hopes to resolve.

Now, your smartphone may ease your credit card travel woes. A new app from Visa called Visa Mobile Location Confirmation can use your smartphone’s location to verify that your purchase isn’t fraudulent. The idea behind the app is that if the phone and purchase locations don’t match, the chances of the transaction being fraudulent are much higher.

The app’s software, provided by Finsphere, will be available to US customers starting in April, according to Visa. Visa Mobile Location Confirmation will be an opt-in service, so it will not work unless users grant it permission.

Visa’s new application demonstrates just how useful smartphones can be. Its uses can stretch beyond emailing, calling, social networking, web navigation and taking photos to also improve security. Aside from Visa’s app, many other banking and web services also have two-step verification which requires you to input a code that’s sent to your smartphone. The code has a short life, so thieves cannot write it down and use it in the future. Two-step verification can go a long way in improving security for banking and credit card use.

But for travelers, using a credit card far from home can still be challenging – for now. People can call their banks and credit card companies to let them know when and where they will be traveling so transactions won’t be rejected. But this forces consumers to jump through hoops just to be able to use their credit cards. Many travelers don’t even bother notifying their banks and credit card companies.

Visa’s new app will make traveling and using your credit card simple. In addition to the location confirmation service, the company also introduced a new service. The new service, called Visa Travel Authorization Tag, gauges your travel plans made with the credit card.

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