MasterCard Improves Security to Prevent False Card Declines

MasterCard Improves Security to Prevent False Card Declines

February 24, 2016         Written By John H. Oldshue

Have you ever gone shopping in a different city, only to have your credit card falsely declined? This is likely the result of your credit card company’s security system attempting to prevent fraudulent transactions on your account. The protection is designed to be helpful, but it can sometimes turn into an inconvenience.

MasterCard is working to reduce the chances of these unnecessary card declines through a program called MasterCard IQ. The company has already invested millions of dollars into its worldwide communication network to decrease false declines by 25%.

The plan is to use data collected by retailers and smartphone companies to monitor your location and verify you are where your card is being used. Rather than calling your card provider to let them know you are traveling, you can simply use your card as normal and let MasterCard’s intelligence do the rest.

Some consumers may be concerned about this process because it essentially means they are being tracked. However, the data MasterCard is tapping into is no different than the data that is already collected each and every day. Any time you verify that a website or smartphone app can track your actions for better security, you open the door for them to monitor your location. MasterCard is using this as a tool to improve your shopping experience.

MasterCard has already made arrangements with over 3,000 retailers to gather information to be used in MasterCard IQ. This will allow the company to make a better decision about declining an unusual charge on your account, and hopefully let you avoid making an awkward and embarrassing phone call in the middle of a transaction.

“While the industry has relentlessly worked to reduce fraud, some of these efforts have resulted in an increase in transactions being needlessly declined,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of Enterprise Security Solutions, MasterCard. “Nobody likes being falsely accused of something. Our IQ products leverage technology and insights to deliver merchants and consumers a convenient, uninterrupted checkout experience.”

The information contained within this article was accurate as of February 24, 2016. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About John H. Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers credit card rate issues for
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