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Public sector lender Union Bank of India will now allow its customers greater control over their credit cards through an app called UControl which will allow them to set limits and also block transactions. However, it seems that the application will only work for Union Bank cards (we tried signing up with an HDFC Bank card).

Through the app, customers can block and unblock cards in realtime. It will also allow certain transaction channels to be to be blocked i.e. ATM withdrawals, Internet transactions, in store transactions and foreign transactions. It will also a customer to analyze spends through the cards over the last three months. Depending on the card uploaded, the customer can monitor and analyze their personal spends as well as that of dependants or joint cardholders.

It will also allow customers to manage transaction alerts for payments made through the cards registered on the app.

Although it isn’t clear why Union Bank has not extended the feature to debit cards as well considering that they are more in circulation. At the end of the June quarter, Union Bank had 26.8 crore debit cards, while it had 142,221 credit cards in circulation at the end of March 2016.

Rising fraud in banking

Note that most banks allow cards can block cards and hotlist them through their net banking platforms. But there are very few which allow only certain transactions to go through specific channels. This could be helpful with the rising number of card frauds with online transactions.

According to a Deloitte 2015 banking fraud survey, 93% of respondents had agreed that there had been an increase in the incidents of fraud in the banking sector over the past two years. The survey also said that the top three fraud risks that are currently the highest concerns for banks are Internet Banking and ATM fraud, card fraud and identity fraud. There have been many cases of vishing, a form of phishing attack, where conmen pose as bankers or tele-callers from banks and get customers to divulge their card number, CVV (card verification value) and expiry date. More on that here.

HDFC Bank ATM security

In Marc, HDFC Bank said its pilot with the NPCI has 25,000 consenting customers for tracking their location to prevent ATM fraud.  The technology for the pilot was developed by Zumigo where the lender will be match the location of a customer’s smartphone to the location ID of the ATM. The bank assumes that 99% of the times the customer carries the phone to the ATM. If the smartphone is not near the ATM, they can get an alert on your phone to decline the transaction. Note that this does not use GPS location but rather cell tower triangulation.