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Smart subsidiary eyes card fraud product

Kathleen A. Martin (The Philippine Star) - October 20, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Smart e-Money Inc., the mobile money unit of Smart Communications Inc. has introduced a product to protect consumers from card fraud and skimming activities.

Orlando B. Vea, Smart e-Money president and chief executive officer, unveiled LockByMobile during the Philippine ATM Conference in Makati City last week. The product was made public during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain earlier this year.

“It’s an innovative mobile financial solution that we’ve developed to address a common pain point of any cardholder – that of having the power to protect one’s card accounts in a simple but powerful and convenient way,” Vea said in a statement.

“LockByMobile provides an additional layer of security by enabling any card holder to block and un-block the use of the funds in his cards with a few taps on his smartphone. This can be quickly implemented by banks, and provide greater peace of mind to payment card users amid the increasing incidence of identity theft,” he added.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has estimated losses to card fraud, skimming, and other scams at P220 million in 2013. Skimming happens through the installation of devices in automated teller machines (ATMs) and point of service (POS) units to steal information stored on cards.

“Having that additional layer of security can give the customer peace of mind,” Vea said.

Smart e-Money said this new product will allow the consumer to lock or unlock his account by transaction, which means he can limit the merchants, countries, and currencies in which the card may be used. The cardholder will also have the option to lock the account by channel or to limit the access via an ATM withdrawal, a POS terminal, online purchase, or money transfer.

“Customers are now empowered to be in full control of their card accounts the same way we lock or unlock our mobile phones, providing an added peace of mind among consumers while banks leverage on it as a tool to mitigate risks,” said. Lito Villanueva, head of payments innovation, digital ecosystem and alliances at Smart e-Money.

LockByMobile also has added security features for the consumer as it alerts the user when the card has been skimmed or used by unauthorized or unknown individuals.

Smart e-Money said it hopes this product will also help increase electronic payments within the country as it is safer and more efficient. The product will be made available through Google Play and Apple Stores.

In 2013, the BSP required banks to replace all existing magnetic strip ATM cards with EMV chip-carrying ones by January 2017. Unlike magnetic strip cards, EMV chip-enabled ones uses unique codes for every transaction so stolen information may not be used for a separate transaction.

 

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