Popularity of fraud text alerts increases amid data breaches

by: Nicole Reyes

Fraud text alerts are among those tools assisting consumers and financial institutions (FIs) in the identification of fraud and in the reduction of the unnecessary inconvenience generated by false positives. Triggered by an FI’s own unique fraud prevention strategies, fraud text alerts are customized to an individual credit union’s existing program. If a particular transaction is flagged as risky, human fraud analysts take a look at the transaction in the context of the account and the existing strategies, and if warranted, verify the transaction by texting the

Thanks to the alerts’ two-way communication feature, a compromised account can be shut down immediately upon verification of the fraud from the cardholder. With some other consumer-facing fraud prevention tools, the cardholder has to call in to speak with a representative, who then must investigate before taking action. This can take up to several hours, leaving the account open to more fraud.

Renée Sanders, who manages nearly 100,000 credit and debit cards for Purdue Federal Credit Union in Indiana, said fraud text alerts have gained popularity since the $786 million credit union first introduced them. The jump in enrollment has spiked even higher in the wake of several high-profile data breaches, Sanders said.

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