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Good Credit Card News: Most Consumers 'Very Satisfied' With Credit Card Companies' Responses to Fraud

by Barbara Marquand

Credit card issuers have come under fire from politicians and consumer advocates in the last year for jacking up rates and fees in anticipation of new federal credit card regulations.

Kudos for Credit Card Companies

But customers think card issuers are getting one thing right, a new poll finds. Almost three quarters of consumers who had been victims of credit card fraud or some sort of credit card data compromise said they were "very satisfied" in the way the issuing bank responded. The figure is from a new survey by Cardbeat, a syndicated market research report published by Auriemma Consulting Group, a New York and London-based management consulting firm serving the payments and lending industries. Another 19 percent of credit card fraud victims said they were "reasonably satisfied" with credit card companies' responses.

Moreover, the victims of credit card fraud--more than a third of all consumers who were surveyed--reported higher levels of trust and confidence in their credit card companies' abilities to keep their account information safe than cardholders who had never experienced credit card fraud, Auriemma found.

Fighting Credit Card Fraud: Technology Plays Key Role

Financial institutions have indeed made great strides through technology to detect fraud sooner, and a growing number of people are benefiting. Most credit card issuers offer free transaction alert services, which let you get real-time e-mail or cell phone text alerts whenever there is unusual activity on your account. All you have to do is sign up for the service and specify the criteria that would trigger an alert, such as a cash withdrawal or a transaction initiated from another country.

In a recent study, Javelin Strategy & Research found that two-thirds of American consumers think the financial alerts are useful and valuable, and by 2014, 41 percent of online households will receive financial alerts for their bank accounts and credit cards.

Online access to accounts also helps fight fraud. Experts from Javelin Strategy & Research advise checking account activity at least once a week to catch any problems early.

Federal law limits out-of-pocket costs for credit card fraud victims to no more than $50 per credit card account on fraudulent purchases, but most issuers maintain zero liability policies for their customers--one more reason people are satisfied.

Published 09/22/10 (Modified 03/30/11)

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