Turn “Off” Your Credit Cards to Prevent Fraud

May 5, 2014, Written By John H. Oldshue
Turn “Off” Your Credit Cards to Prevent Fraud

Don’t you wish you were able to turn off your credit cards when you don’t need them so that no one else could use them? And then back on when you were ready to make a purchase? With OnDot CardControl, that may not be such a far-fetched idea.

OnDot Systems is a startup company based in San Jose, California that offers a remote control for your credit cards. The app allows you to control which of your credit cards are active at any given time directly from your phone or tablet. It also allows you to set spending limits on the cards and restrict the location where the cards can be used.

If someone tries to use your card number outside of those limits, the purchase will be declined.

This app could be particularly helpful to parents since it enables them to restrict the money on their child’s credit card. Parents can remove the restriction in the case of an emergency, but this ensures that their children will not be spending money frivolously.

People who have emergency credit cards can turn them off when not in use to protect against identity theft. People trying to live on a budget can limit their spending from one card to the next.

“Our system applies to every card,” said one of OnDot’s co-founders Vaduvur Bharghavan.

No matter which cards you may carry, you should be able to control the cards through your phone. You can also set up email alerts to notify you when a transaction takes place. If it is a purchase you did not make, you can contact your credit card company immediately.

Lone Star National Bank tested this system with their customers and saw tremendous improvements in their fraud department.

“We were able to decrease our fraud losses from $450,000 in 2012 to $180,000 in 2013, a reduction of over 60%,” said the bank’s CEO, David Penoli. “This has been a big breakthrough, and justifies the solution on its own.”

If you want a new way to control your finances, this could be one answer.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of May 5, 2014. 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 LowCards.com. He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers credit card rate issues for LowCards.com.
View all posts by John H. Oldshue