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Earlier this month, U.S. Bank launched Location Services for their mobile app, providing additional security and convenience to customers as they travel and shop for the holidays.

We spoke with Jason Tinurelli, Senior Vice President of Retail Payment Solutions at U.S. Bank, to learn how the feature works and how it can help U.S. Bank customers this holiday season. Tinurelli is responsible for the digital marketing, acquisition, and strategy for U.S. Bank’s credit, debit, and prepaid cards.

How Location Services Works

All U.S. Bank credit and debit card customers can opt in for Location Services using the U.S. Bank Mobile App. Once the service is turned on, U.S. Bank Location Services can help determine if card transactions are legitimate by verifying that customer devices and their credit or debit cards are in the same location.

“What we’re using is the built-in Location Services available on your phone,” explains Tinurelli. “If the customer opts in, . . . we pull the phone a couple times a day, looking to see where the phone is.”

Using the mobile devices’ location as a guide, Location Services looks for transactions made outside the customer’s area. If a purchase takes place elsewhere, U.S. Bank is alerted and can reach out to the customer to verify the transaction.

Of course, this service works best for customers who keep their mobile phones with them as they shop.

The feature is available for both Android and Apple devices.

How Location Services Can Help You

U.S. Bank already monitors their customers’ transactions for fraudulent activity, and they flag suspicious transactions for review and customer verification. Location Services adds another layer of security and give transactions an additional hurdle to clear.

But the feature also adds convenience for holiday trips. Holiday travelers frequently make large purchases out of town, and this feature reduces the odds of getting declined or having to verify transactions.

Tinurelli says that whether customers stay home or travel, they can have more security and peace of mind—because if your card is used when you’re not near it, you’ll be covered.

Why Location Services Was Introduced

According to TInurelli, this new use of Location Services is a direct response to consumer feedback.

“One thing that you often hear from people,” says TInurelli, “is ‘I went away on vacation and the card company declined me.’ We took the feedback from our customers.”

The Location Services feature was initially tested with U.S. Bank employees and then introduced in a small customer rollout program. Following positive feedback, U.S. Bank decided to launch the service to their entire credit and debit card customer base.

“The holiday season is a busy time for everyone,” Tinurelli notes. “The U.S. Bank Mobile App offers consumers the convenience of being on-the-go while offering opt-in Location Services to help keep credit and debit cards secure while traveling here in the US and abroad.”

Credit card fraud and identity theft are more common today than ever. If you’re interested in learning how to protect yourself or in other credit cards with security features, you can find more information at Credit.com.

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