SmartMoney Monday: Mobile Control

SmartMoney Monday - Mobile Control

It's SmartMoney Monday, and we're back with the topic of payment conveniences. I'm here with Brannon Naito, Online and Mobile Product Manager at Bank of Hawaii, discussing a new mobile feature that allows customers to set certain preferences on their card.

Steve: Brannon, what exactly is this technology, and when did it first come out?

Brannon: Setting mobile preferences for your card has been around on the mainland, and it's certainly gaining momentum with more and more financial institutions.

In a nutshell, think of it as a remote control for your credit and debit cards. It instantly allows you to set and control preferences using your smartphone.

Steve: How exactly does it work?

Brannon: Steve, imagine that you're getting ready to make a purchase at a store and you suddenly realize that your wallet isn't anywhere to be found. You don't know exactly if it's at home or if it's stolen. You need to act fast to ensure your cards aren't going to be used fraudulently. But, now you have to make calls to each card issuer. And that takes time. But this technology allows you to switch off your card as soon as you realize your card is missing by using your smartphone.

Steve: That's instant peace of mind. Besides turning off your card, what are the other features?

Brannon: It also allows you to set locations, set merchants and set spending limits. For example, if you're traveling, you can set location controls to use your card only in the city that you happen to be in.

Steve: You mentioned that customers can set merchant controls, too; how does that work?

Brannon: Yes—merchant controls are great for anyone. Especially if you're a parent, merchant controls can come in handy. It allows you to set what stores your card can and can't be used at. So if your teenager is only supposed to buy books for school and not video games, you can set it so that your card will be denied at the video game store. You can also set how much money your child can use by setting spending limits.

Steve: So it's great for teaching your child about financial responsibility; what about merchant controls for yourself?

Brannon: A big benefit is aimed at security and reducing fraud. You can set limits at specific stores in specific regions. Also, if you're not a frequent online shopper, you can turn off the eCommerce control. So your card will be denied if someone tries to use it for an online purchase. In addition, you can turn on your card right when you need it for a single purchase, then turn it off again.

Steve: So you're really protecting yourself against anyone else going on a shopping spree with your card. And what about setting spending limits?

Brannon: Everyone wants to keep their spending in check. Setting your preferences remotely helps with budgeting too. For example, you can enable spending for things like groceries and fuel, for everyday purchases, but disable spending at entertainment and travel stores until you need it. Again—you get the added benefit of security if your card is used at a store that you haven't enabled.

Steve: Sounds like a lot of flexibility. Are there any other noteworthy features?

Brannon: It's very user friendly; if you can slide a button, you can maneuver this technology. The self-service aspect is a major draw. You can view available balances, check your spending and capture receipt images.

Steve: Great, thanks Brannon for shedding some light on some upcoming technology. Stay tuned next week when we talk about more digital conveniences for your card. For Brannon Naito, I'm Steve Uyehara. Thanks for watching SmartMoney Monday.