Sunday, February 24, 2008

I don't think I'll trust SG's credit card handling for now

Random picture taken from Suntec city exhibition hall. Noted interesting by someone near me ;-) Maybe got prize for the one who guesses what exactly is "interesting" :-D

On a more serious note, the way things are currently done in Singapore only facilitates credit card fraud and raise alarm bells in security-paranoid people like myself, at least until someone gets burned really badly and the media hypes it up, then everyone will take note.

Take for example the restaurants we have here. When we foot the bill by credit or debit card, in many restaurants the helpful waiters/waitresses bring your card in a holder to the cashier where they do the transaction, bring the receipt back to you for signing before returning you the card. And in the process the card goes out of sight for a while, a very juicy opportunity for the numbers (from the front and the back 3 "security" numbers) to be recorded and to be used to buy _____ from ebay by some fellow.

Well, the tour agency we went to today took things one step further, writing the ENTIRE credit card number on the receipt when they make a transaction (and it is also done out of sight). The reason they gave was that the number was "for records purposes" (and to appease us they helpfully cancelled out the number with a line and countersigned it :-D As if that would help...). Thinking about it, this process only made it far easier for anybody to steal others' (the customers' in this case) card numbers for misuse (just remember the 3 digits on the back of the card).

I'm not writing this to target the poor fellows who suddenly had to deal with such a weird complaint/request about writing the number on the receipt (which even the banks themselves don't do!). But what I'm saying here is that companies should have better methods of handling customers' information, including NOT storing things that they shouldn't.

Even credit card issuers do have points of failure in this. I hope that they'll stop trying to persuade me to get even more cards from them when it is explicitly stated in the MoneySense guide not to get more cards than necessary. :-D The irony being that this guide is distributed with every card given out!

I like to have the convenience and options of the credit system. But looking at how credit cards are handled currently in Singapore, I think I'll stick to using my NETS card or cash for offline purchases. I don't want to appear in tabloids as a victim of credit card fraud :-D


fergus said...

Actually, they are only supposed to copy the last 4 digits of the 16 digit credit card number.. So technically, you can screw them if they try to copy the whole number :P

Also on another note, congrats on your credit card! hehee But, I suggest you put the cash advance limit to $0.. Thats not the credit limit btw.. Cash advance is done by going to an ATM and withdrawing pure cash (up to your limit) from the ATM. Then they charge processing fees, as well as a ridiculously high interest rate. So most anti-fraud articles recommend you set this cash advance limit to zero. And just use it for buying things.

GunBlad3 said...

Looks like there's a lot of public education to be done in this aspect man =D

Thanks for the tips!