MasterCard, Syniverse to use geolocation for card security

February 26, 2014 by Nancy Owano weblog
MasterCard, Syniverse to use geolocation for card security

Wait, wait. We know you're in Lima. How can you be buying two sofas in London? Catching you where you really are and not where thieves want to use your card elsewhere is in the works with Tuesday's announcement at Mobile World Congress that MasterCard is partnering with mobile technology company Syniverse.

The two will deliver a service to fight credit-card fraud by linking the user's card with the user's . This will be an opt-in service and it is still in pilot-phase. Geolocation data will be key in making this work; the person will need to have both the phone and card. In order to complete any card transaction the user will need to have that mobile device switched on to a specific geolocation while abroad. A credit card user's point-of-sale details will be correlated with the geolocation of the mobile device.

The true location will be identified, reducing the likelihood that criminals have the card. The goal is to make it more difficult for unauthorized persons to buy goods with stolen cards.

The traveler-focused plan may bring peace of mind to MasterCard expecting a secure experience while using the card away from home. At the same time, it can erase the frustration of seeing their legitimate transactions declined when trying to buy something in another country. Banks can be more confident that the purchase is by the consumer in the new location, especially helpful for international travelers.

The two companies suggested another plus, saying could have a choice of "prepaid data packages" purchased directly from their phones when they arrive in another country. According to their Tuesday announcement, "Approximately 75 million travel outside their home country each month, yet today 70 percent of people switch their mobile data function off when they arrive, which is likely in an effort to avoid roaming charges."

Hany Fam, MasterCard president of Global Strategic Alliances, talked to and Banking Technology about the partnering, referring to a trend of consumers becoming more mobile not just in the use of their digital devices but in terms of travel patterns as well, The company wanted to address the patterns of travel plus usage in the form of "a simplified and singular converged environment" where anyone can easily and securely access needed financial and mobile services.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Elsewhere, in another video, Fam said it was a union of one of the leading network technology companies in the world, processing something in the order of 65,000 transactions a minute, with Syniverse, "the MasterCard of the mobile industry," reaching more than five billion globally via mobile service providers.


Explore further: MasterCard launches new digital payment system

More information:

Related Stories

MasterCard launches new digital payment system

February 25, 2013

Credit card giant MasterCard announced Monday the launch of a new digital payment system that lets people use a wide variety of devices including smartphones to spend their money.

Battle commences for 'mobile money'

February 25, 2013

Global financial groups battled Monday to control the lucrative future of "mobile money", which will enable people to use a smartphone to go shopping instead of cash and credit cards.

Incentives are coming for payments by phones

February 26, 2014

(AP)—Many people use their smartphones to watch video, play games and wake them up in the morning. Some even use them to generate digital boarding passes to fly. So why not use phones to buy stuff at retail stores as well?

Recommended for you

Internet giants race to faster mobile news apps

October 4, 2015

US tech giants are turning to the news in their competition for mobile users, developing new, faster ways to deliver content, but the benefits for struggling media outlets remain unclear.

Radio frequency 'harvesting' tech unveiled in UK

September 30, 2015

An energy harvesting technology that its developers say will be able to turn ambient radio frequency waves into usable electricity to charge low power devices was unveiled in London on Wednesday.

Professors say US has fallen behind on offshore wind power

September 29, 2015

University of Delaware faculty from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), the College of Engineering and the Alfred Lerner School of Business and Economics say that the U.S. has fallen behind in offshore wind ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Feb 27, 2014
This will be an opt-in service

No it won't.

Eventually it will turn out that you need to pay some heavy fees if you opt to not have your person tracked all the time.

It's the same problem as with GPS tracking and car insurance. It's making privacy a tradeable commodity by increasing premiums for those who want to keep theirs.

not rated yet Feb 27, 2014
Unnecessary - when I use my card in an unusual location (if I'm abroad) my bank sends me an SMS to check that it's okay.

And of course there are times when you are sitting at home in Edinburgh and want to order something online from a shop in downtown Lagos...
not rated yet Feb 27, 2014
Yup, Joe Doaks goes to a 'massage parlor' and his employer has paid this 'geolocation service' for data on all its employees...... Hey Joe! Bye Bye job!! Oh Well! Coulda' been worse! The 'Homeland Security' can probably buy your 'location' too and then prosecute you as a 'john soliciting for prostitutes'. So if yer' gonna' drink, carouse, or philander, or outright check out the 'hoes', ya best leave that card....and ALL yer cell fones at home! Wrapped in three layers of tin foil grounded to a thirteen foot copper stake in the ground. Course next the corporate spies will want to make Faraday Cages ...illegal. May as well ban conductive metallic foil......metal bug screens. Just think of it as a guaranteed corporate promotion of malaria for you and your family as a perk for them.
not rated yet Feb 27, 2014
The idea is surely the same as the one behind 3DSecure and this is far from user protection. 3DSecure aims at liability shift for mechants so that they are not held responsible and no "Card not Present" chargebacks can be done against payments done with 3DSecure / Visa Secure Code and similars. To the customers this is however sold as an "extra layer of security" while it is absolutely not. They aren't even secretive about that, just go check Google for 3Dsecure and liability shift.

I'm not sure what they exactly want to do with that but I bet you that it's far from what they are selling to the public.

not rated yet Apr 07, 2014
If you have been following the strategic investments of The Carlyle Group, this link may add another interesting political angle to this story.

Captain Stumpy
not rated yet Apr 08, 2014
I'm not sure what they exactly want to do with that but I bet you that it's far from what they are selling to the public
well, when you track the location of a card, used or not, you can also make certain assumptions about its owners habits, customs, day-to-day movements, and purchases. Knowing the location of a card is not just important for security, but also for tracking customers and their habits, which makes for a smarter and more capable advertising and other campaigns.
knowing your customers well also gives you additional information to SELL to other companies, especially companies that are within the loop of the customer, or frequented by large portions of the customer base you are watching.

why do you think Google tracks like it does? same as Microsoft.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.