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Exercise Caution When Using Credit Cards, Consumer Council Advises

This comes as a strong warning following a complaint received at the Council whereby a consumer had 64 fraudulent transactions charged to his visa credit card account amounting to $11,414.12.
11 Feb 2020 18:29
Exercise Caution When Using Credit Cards, Consumer Council Advises

Consumers who hold visa credit cards are urged to be extra vigilant while making online purchases and continually monitor their accounts and statements to identify any unauthorized transactions.

This comes as a strong warning following a complaint received at the Council whereby a consumer had 64 fraudulent transactions charged to his visa credit card account amounting to $11,414.12.

Despite the card limit of $7,500, the transactions were successfully processed.

The customer, upon checking his statement, was astonished to learn of the unauthorized transactions successfully processed and way over his limit.

When he enquired with his bank, he was advised that it would take approximately 80 to 160 days to get his refund as this would be validated and processed by Visa International, the service provider. However, partial refunds were being processed to his account during the course.

The frustrated consumer sought the Council’s assistance for a speedy refund for the unauthorized transactions. Through liaisons with the bank concerned, full refund was facilitated.

Visa International is an American multinational financial services corporation that facilitates electronic funds transfers throughout the world, most commonly through Visa-branded credit cards and debit cards processed through VisaNet.

Visa International does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers; rather, Visa International provides financial institutions with Visa-branded payment products that they then use to offer credit, debit, prepaid and cash-access programs to their customers.

Whilst the affliction of making online payments is made instant and easier with a credit card, the risk of exposure to hackers and the process of getting a refund has hugely inconvenienced consumers.

A simple reversal of one payment with your access card in house which can take you only a few seconds is not the same when it comes to a blunder on your visa credit card.

Therefore, the Council urges consumers to be extra vigilant and always ensure thorough verification are made with their bank prior to settling any payments with Visa credit cards.

Moreover, the Council also calls on the Reserve Bank of Fiji to intervene and consult with all
commercial banks and Visa International for an improvement in the refund process using Visa network.

Furthermore, the Council acknowledges the efforts made by some commercial banks in implementing a Visa risk management team who are specifically tasked with closely monitoring Visa card transactions for Visa credit card holders and urges other commercial banks to have in place similar risk management teams.

Any consumer wishing to lodge a complaint or have any consumer issue are urged to contact the Council on toll free number 155 or email complaints@consumersfiji.org

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