Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bank of America launches anti-fraud text alert service

Here's a odd bit of synchronicity ...

Today, just after I entered my debit card PIN at a point of sale, my blackberry buzzed. I thought, "Hey! Wouldn't it be a good idea if my bank would send me a message each time my debit/credit/etc card was used? That way you'd catch bad stuff before you get your statement."

The Bank of America apparently has beat me to it:

Bank launches anti-fraud alert service:

by Tash Shifrin

Monday 20 March 2006

The US's largest bank has launched an anti-fraud text and e-mail alert service, following a series of high profile data security breaches.

Last month, the Bank of America was forced to cancel some customers� debit cards following a data security breach at an undisclosed company.

In October last year users of its Visa Buxx pre-paid debit card service were told sensitive personal information may have been compromised when an unencrypted laptop used by one of the bank�s service providers was stolen.

In March 2005, the bank confirmed that information on 60,000 customers had been stolen by an identity theft ring, just a month after revealing it had lost back-up tapes containing the credit card account records of 1.2 million US federal employees.

Now, in the fourth major security initiative of the past year, the bank is offering its online banking customers a series of alerts by e-mail or text message to mobile phones or PDAs.

Customers will receive automatic notification of changes in sensitive information such as passwords, although these can be switched off. They can also choose dollar limits, above which they would be notified of any potentially suspicious debit transactions or irregular credit card activity. A daily e-mail about available account balances is also on offer.

The bank has the largest number of online banking customers in the world, with its 15 million customers making up more than a third of all people who use online banking in the US.

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