Why Mobile Security Is Mandatory for Travel

September 27, 2016 CO-OP Financial Services

Why Mobile Security Is Mandatory for Travel

Members are messy – and never more so than when they’re on the road. Removed from their normal routines and placed into unfamiliar surroundings, consumers are especially “desperate” to connect while traveling, according to a survey by Kaspersky Labs.

Among the findings:

  • 42% say they’re less careful while traveling.
  • 28% left their phones unsupervised.
  • 18% — and a full quarter of those under 25 – have handed their phone to a stranger, generally to take a photo.
  • 82% chose to use unsecured public Wi-Fi while traveling abroad.

How do you protect your members from their own disorientation? One tactic to consider is upping your mobile self-service security options. Among the takeaways from the Kaspersky survey: Mobile phones are the traveling companions of choice for modern travelers. But in the same way we no longer retain information if we believe Google will retain it for us, people now rely on being able to take action on the fly using their mobile phones – instead of getting their ducks in a row before they leave town.

Two mobile tools to consider: CO-OP Concierge and CardNav by CO-OP. CO-OP Concierge enables members to notify the credit union of travel plans via a dedicated mobile app. That information is automatically relayed to Falcon Fraud Manager, decreasing the chances of blocked transactions while a member is traveling.

CardNav by CO-OP gives members a wide range of mobile controls to keep their cards secure during travel. For example, cardholders can choose to keep their cards turned off while in transit – or toggle their cards off if they suddenly go missing. CardNav tracks spending by category, delivers alerts, and enables members to approve or deny transactions in real time.

Why is mobile such an advantage when traveling?

  1. The odds that any consumer will remember to contact their card company with travel plans while sitting down next to a calendar, contact information and phone are nil. Chances are good that your members will never be sitting down next to a calendar, contact information and phone – regardless of the situation. Having a dedicated mobile app that allows members to notify you wherever, whenever it’s convenient (read: when they are about to fall asleep the night before their plane leaves) is the difference between success and failure.
  2. Chaos is a developing situation. If a cardholder thinks they forgot their card in the hotel room before checking out, but their plane is leaving in 20 minutes, there’s no time to make a call to the credit union. Wouldn’t it be better to use a phone to turn it off until they can regroup?
  3. One less reason to bank on public Wi-Fi. Using a dedicated app and encrypted cellular data is more secure than the unsecured public alternative. Meanwhile, travelers actually can track how much they’ve spent so far on food and drink – or track expenses for business.
  4. Secure cards when not in use. When you’re traveling, it’s a smart idea not to carry all of your cards in one place. That way, if a card is lost or stolen, you have a backup. Problem: Where do you leave the “extra” card, and what if something happens to it? Using CardNav, members can keep their cards turned off, so that even if they fall into the wrong hands (or inadvertently into the hotel laundry), they’re safe. What if they need to use the card? They can turn it on at just the moment they need it. Controls work in real time.
  5. Members are in their own time zones. Okay, maybe they’re not the only ones in their time zones. But if your members have traveled far from home, the moment they need to take action might be 0ff-hours at your credit union. They need a way to help themselves.
  6. Everybody has to come home eventually. Re-entry can be cruel. What’s crueler? Having lost track of your spending while away, then white-knuckling it through the rest of the month. Receiving alerts for every new transaction helps members control their cash flow during the delicate re-entry period – and enables them to make sure no strange activity pops up on their accounts.

What makes mobile security tools essential for modern travel is availability. That is, not only are the tools available around the clock, wherever members may be – but members’ phones are likely to be the one thing they don’t forget while on the move. People rely on their phones for orientation. What better place to put command-and-control for money?

A final tip: While mobile security is a must for traveling members, there’s an additional benefit that goes hand in hand: 24/7 telephone access. In the unthinkable event that members are separated from their smartphones – or simply need the help of a live human – having an always-open phone line available is like gold.

Register for the upcoming October 20 Live FraudBuzz Webinar, “Ransomware Threats + Monthly Fraud Roundup,”  hosted by Fraud Expert, John Buzzard – our monthly webinar series dedicated to staying ahead of the ever-evolving fraud game.

Ransomware Threats + Monthly Fraud Roundup

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