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When Credit Cards Expire, Businesses Can Get Your New Number Without Your Permission

by Peter Andrew

When

Credit Cards Expire, Businesses Can Get Your New Number Without

Your Permission

It's not new, but it might be new to you. If you use your credit

card to pay monthly charges for cable bills, club memberships,

or other recurring expenses, canceling your credit card or letting

it expire won't guarantee that those charges will stop. Through

programs such as Visa's Account Updater program, merchants can

have your new credit card number transferred directly to them

without any involvement from you.

For

businesses, this helps with customer retention, as they can

continue to bill you, even if your card number changes. And

you might even like this service--you don't have to contact

all the companies you have recurring charges with when your

credit card number changes. On the other hand, if you have forgotten

that certain monthly charges are still going on your credit

card bill, or you have trouble getting a merchant to stop automatic

billing, canceling your card or allowing it to expire may not

guarantee that the charges will stop.

This

service has been available to Visa merchants since

2003, but there are no available numbers to know how many

merchants are aware of it or take advantage of it. Index Credit

Cards spotted it via a Datamation

story this week. If and when the programs are more widely

used, it will be interesting to see if consumers take them in

stride or find them an invasion of privacy.

Published 06/05/06 (Modified 05/07/12)


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