New phone app locks, protects credit and debit cards - KMSP-TV

New phone app locks, protects credit and debit cards

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

When someone steals your financial information, it can take time and money before you get your life back to normal. However, what if you could lock your credit or debit cards just like you lock your car? There is now an app for that.

Major retailers and their customers have fallen victim to hackers stealing thousands and up to a million debit and credit cards. Customers can lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars to these thieves.

The old fashioned way around this would be to use only cash at certain establishments. Now, tech companies are coming up with technology that allows the consumer to protect their card information.

Companies like OnDot have created an app to lock your credit and debit cards. Rachna Ahlawat, is the co-founder of the company.

"Just by tapping on a button, this card cannot be used at a retailer or for e-commerce or for withdrawing cash," said Ahlawat.

Ondot started its pilot program in southern Texas, where customers have had access to the app through their bank or financial institution.

From locking your card, to enabling how much can be spent on the card, the customer remains informed in real time of any suspicious transactions thanks to GPS.

"So based on user preferences they're also informed of every transaction that's conducted. Users can also set a certain boundary, so if I live in the San Francisco Bay area and my card is not going to be used let's say in Vegas," Ahlawat added. "But, if there is a card transaction attempted in Vegas, it will be denied and I as a card holder will be immediately informed."

If an app isn't an option for you, there are other simple ways to make sure you don't become a victim.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau stated on its website you should check your accounts regularly, report any suspicious spending, submit a complaint if you have more issues with your bank to the CFPB, and be cautious of verifying your account information by phone or email.

Apps like the one provided by OnDot are not in Chicago yet, but the company said it expects to be by the end of 2014.

For more information on the app, visit OnDot's website.

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