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MasterCard and mBlox launch first global mobile fraud detection solution

Waterloo, Belgium and London, UK; 9 February 2005 – MasterCard, the leading global payments solutions company, and mBlox, the world’s mobile messaging transmission and billing specialist, have announced a worldwide cooperation agreement to integrate mBlox’s mobile messaging service with Aristion®, MasterCard’s cutting edge fraud prevention tool. This new solution will become the first global fraud detection and alerting system, offering any bank a high quality, ready to use Short Message Service (SMS)-enabled solution. Existing Aristion users can install it in under an hour.

Currently most banks still rely on manual processes to resolve queries about high risk transactions. Using the MasterCard and mBlox solution, banks will be able to offer their customers a valuable new service that they can use after a simple registration process. In the case where a high risk transaction is identified, bank customers will immediately receive an SMS to verify their transaction. Traditionally banks have relied on call centres to handle this task, but this is an expensive operation with twenty to thirty calls required to detect one fraud. Even though a well trained analyst can handle up to 100 calls per day, there is often a significant waiting time between the moment the transaction is identified and the customer is contacted. Naturally any delays in making the call or responding to the initial call increase the risk of multiple frauds on the account or on the card.

Using MasterCard’s SMS application and mBlox’s worldwide connectivity, more customers can be reached more rapidly and reliably at a lower cost. MasterCard estimates its SMS-based solution will enable banks to send up to 10 SMS messages for every telephone call placed to verify credit card transactions. If the consumer believes a fraudulent transaction has been committed, the bank can be notified to block further activity. This speed of response means cards can be blocked in a matter of minutes, reducing the number of fraudulent transactions and the impact for the bank. Furthermore, sending such alerts also frees up time for call centre staff, who will be able to deal with other urgent requests.

“MasterCard is determined to work with its banking customers to improve the detection of credit card fraud and ensure consumers enjoy an increasingly secure banking experience,’’ said Johan Gerber, Associate Vice President, Risk Products at MasterCard. “We are always pushing the boundaries of innovation to improve the services we provide to our customers, and we believe the integration of mBlox’s service with Aristion represents a milestone in this process.”

“mBlox has always believed that SMS is a very powerful tool for financial institutions, and we built our global, carrier-grade infrastructure to meet this high standard,” said Andrew Bud Executive Chairman of mBlox. “We are very excited to be working alongside MasterCard to introduce banks and institutions worldwide to the simplicity and effectiveness of SMS-enabled Aristion fraud detection.”

MasterCard has launched this service globally and is concentrating initial efforts in Europe because of the highly saturated mobile services marketplace. Throughout 2005, MasterCard will be extending the service to Asia Pacific, SAMEA and later to North America. The product should start to impact consumers in the latter half of 2005.

“Credit card fraud remains a top priority for banks around the world and any technology innovation that addresses this challenge is welcomed,” said Phil Curtis, from Lloyds TSB, Chairman of MasterCard UK Members Forum Ltd’s Security Committee. “With more and more consumers having access to credit cards, the ability to automate part of the verification process for high risk transactions can only be seen as a good thing, and I welcome MasterCard’s efforts to bring this technology to the banking community.”

Note to the Editor:

Aristion with its integrated connection to mBlox enables a bank t

Publisher Contact Information:

mBlox Limited
+44 (0) 20 7608 2500

Company profile of mBlox Limited
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