Tag: geolocation services

Geolocation technology may keep U.S. Bank Visa cardholders more secure

This new opt-in feature is designed to boost security while decreasing the number of card declines.

U.S. Bank announced the adoption of geolocation technology to help improve the security of payment transactions for travelers. The idea is that a shopper can use his or her mobile phone to confirm his or her identity when using a credit card.

If a credit card purchase is made at a different location from that of the mobile device, it will be declined.

The concept of this use of geolocation technology is to stop transaction declines from happening unnecessarily. Instead, a traveler’s identity will be further confirmed by the presence of his or her mobile phone in the same location as the transaction. In this way, it stops a person who has stolen the card from being able to successfully complete a transaction. After all, if they grab the card – or card info – and run, they will be too far away from the actual cardholder to use it.

This avoids the dreaded auto-decline message some travelers get when they try to make a purchase that is out of sync with their typical buying patterns. That said, it’s important to note that this geolocation service is opt-in. It is not being automatically implemented for all U.S. Bank issued Visa cards.

Furthermore, this geolocation technology service is activated only by cardholders who are traveling.

Geolocation Technology - Visa Bank CardPurchases made closer to home will not qualify for this additional mobile security component for credit card transactions. The fraud prevention program is being released in waves.

According to U.S. Bank’s Retail Payment Solutions division senior vice president and head of product and marketing, Clifford Cook, “We’ve all experienced that embarrassing moment when your credit card is declined at dinner while on vacation because the bank thinks you should be at home in Minneapolis, but you’re eating dinner in Seattle.” Cook explained that “When your phone is on and you’ve opted-in for geolocation, U.S. Bank can validate that the expense is legitimate and avoid customer frustration.”

To start, U.S. Bank FlexPerks Visa cardholders will be able to opt into the geolocation technology program when they travel. All they need to do is activate the feature using the FlexPerks mobile app.

Geolocation lookups launched by Mozilla

The company behind the tremendously popular Firefox has started an experimental pilot project.

Mozilla has just announced that it has launched an experimental pilot project called the Mozilla Location Service, which provides geolocation lookups that are based on data from Wi-Fi access points and publicly observable cell towers.

This concept behind the service is that it croudsources and collects this information through mobile.

The idea is that by way of public hotspots for Wi-Fi, and through cell phone towers, the service crowdsources and collects geolocation information to make it possible for smartphones that have weak GPS signals and laptops that don’t have that technology to be able to rapidly pinpoin their approximate location. As of yet, it has not been made entirely clear how it will be possible for the devices to be able to identify themselves, but there are two APIs being offered for the integration of this service into applications.

The geolocation service remains in its earlier stages, but it is progressing quickly.

Mozilla GeolocationIn order to take part in this service and contribute to its data, users can add the dedicated Android MozStumbler app from Mozilla into their devices. That app is behind the data collection, but it also has a gamified element that gives users the opportunity to enjoy the experience. In this game, they can either contribute anonymously, or they can compete against others on the leaderboard. According to Mozilla, the service is already experiencing a rapid evolution, but that there will soon be a more full featured experience that will be available to device users.

That said, Mozilla has said that it is nowhere near its final stage. This geolocation service remains in the earliest levels and provides only the most basic levels of coverage within select locations due to the generosity of the earlier contributors and adopters of the service. At the same time, the company is committed to ensuring that the privacy elements of the service are improved to a meaningful degree for all of its participants, so that users can be certain that even as they offer the data surrounding heir location, their own privacy remains safe and secure.