Telefónica Mobile Alerts To Prevent Fraud And Blocked Cards Abroad

‘Travel Alerts’ service created with TeleSign lets users verify their location with their mobile, avoiding fraud and inconvenience of blocked card

Spanish telecom giant Telefónica is teaming up with TeleSign to launch a ‘Travel Alerts’ service that will allow users to make payments with their debit and credit cards in foreign countries without the fear of being cut off.

The service works by sending an alert to the users bank or credit card provider when a customer switches their phone on in a new country. The provider uses this “travel alert” to verify any card payment made in that country.


telefonica travel-alertsIn order to sign up for the service, users simply need to register their mobile number with their participating bank or credit card provider. The service is designed to work with a wide variety of devices, and does not require the use of data roaming.

Telefónica says that users customers remain in complete control of their data at all times and have the ability to terminate their participation in the service at any point through their bank. The mobile location data shared is only used to verify a particular person’s country-location and is processed in highly-secure systems using encryption that meets strict regulatory requirements.

The companies hope that Travel Alerts will also help to reduce fraud and lower costs for financial organisations investigating suspicious transactions, having worked with payment provider MBNA for a successful trial of the service.

“As a leading Digital Telco, Telefónica is always looking at new ways to provide innovative and valued digital services for our customers, including leveraging the expertise of strategic partners where it makes sense,” said Phil Douty, director B.I & big data monetisation at Telefónica.

“TeleSign proved the right partner to help us take Travel Alerts to market as a cross-carrier service. 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.”

All clued up on mobile payments? Try our quiz!