Mitigate Fraud with Cardholder Alerts

The best fraud mitigation tool available is an educated and engaged cardholder. Signing up for transaction alerts, avoiding scams, shopping safely online and keeping personal information safe are all essential measures needed to mitigate fraudulent transactions.

Below is a link to a table that provides information about the five alerts products available through Advantage. Two of these products also offer card controls, i.e., the ability for cardholders to turn their card off and on.

Finally, feel free to copy and share the information on fraud mitigation available on the Advantage website, Cardholders pages.

04.11.2019 Checkcard Alerts Matrix 2018

Help cardholders avoid surcharge fees

When a cardholder uses an ATM that is not part of the Advantage, InBalance or Allpoint networks, they are usually charged a surcharge by the ATM owner. These fees can range from $1 to $6 but could run as high as $30, depending on the transaction and how the ATM owner assesses the fees.

Educating your cardholders about free ATM options available to them creates good will and reduces costs for your Financial Institution (FI) and the cardholder:

  • When your cardholders make withdrawals at ATMs not owned by your FI, your cost is higher than when they make withdrawals at your ATM(s).
  • Your institution may charge a service fee to your cardholders for using ATMs it doesn’t own (not-on-us or “foreign” ATMs).

All Advantage cardholders can withdraw cash surcharge-free from any of the 55,000 Allpoint ATMs in the United States and around the world. These ATMs are located in retail locations such as Target and Costco. A listing and map of all Advantage, InBalance and Allpoint ATMs can be found on the Advantage ATM Finder.

There are 144 Advantage ATMs and 175 InBalance ATMs surcharge-free to cardholders. Determine what service fees are charged by your FI and include those specifics in documentation you share with cardholders.

There is a variety of reports available through Advantage to help you determine which ATMs your cardholders are using and to help you build a target marketing list.

With a little education, you could reduce foreign ATM costs for your cardholders and your FI.

eCommerce Best Practices

Debit eCommerce is expected to grow 140% through 2021 and issuers have an outstanding opportunity to encourage debit usage by creating a positive experience for cardholders. Here are six best practices offered by Advantage and Visa to help you develop an effective eCommerce strategy.


1.    Set the foundation


  • At account opening, help cardholders add their new debit card to a mobile wallet.
  • Encourage cardholders to make Debit their default payment method with person-to-person payment apps.
  • Continuously educate cardholders on various online payment methods.


2.    Win their trust


  • 55% of U.S. consumers surveyed fear that using their debit card online is not secure. Ease concerns by sharing debit card security protections such as SecurLOCK fraud monitoring.
  • Reassure cardholders by explaining Visa’s Zero Liability policy.
  • Commit to quick and “hassle-free” reimbursement for disputed transactions.


3.    Improve the experience


The decline rate for Card-Not-Present (CNP) transactions is higher than Point-of-Sale transactions. This decline rate not only hurts the customer experience, it negatively impacts the financial institution’s portfolio performance by creating

– a $58 per month reduction in purchase volume per cardholder.

– a 6% increase in cardholders going completely inactive.

  •  Ensure that cardholder information on CMSe/Cardbase and your core are up to date and match.
  •  Remind cardholders to call in when they travel, when they want to make a large purchase or when they plan to do a lot of shopping either in-store or online. You can then set higher purchase limits and fraud exclusions that can help prevent their card from being blocked for unusual spending.
  • Educate cardholders abut Visa Secure and Visa “click to pay” (formerly Visa Checkout). Some cardholders may be asked to provide a one-time passcode to authenticate their identity.


4.    Provide a reason to try


  •   Offer an incentive, e.g. cash back or gift card, such as the Advantage Marketing Campaigns, to increase usage.
  •   Test a range of incentives to see which works best for your cardholders.


5.    Prioritize your targeting


  •   Drive existing medium/high “face-to-face” debit users to use their debit card for eCommerce purchases.
  •   Educate existing debit eCommerce users about different “Credentials on File” solutions.
  •   Educate existing debit eCommerce users about different “Credentials on File” solutions.


6.    Utilize Visa’s self-service resources


On Visa Online, follow the “Authorization Performance” link under the
“Reference Library” tab to find self-assessment checklists, more best practices, links to Visa tools and services, and more.


SecurLOCK: Maximize Cardholder Experience

SecurLOCK Fraud Management is an FIS Global product that provides industry-leading fraud mitigation tools. SecurLOCK monitoring is applied to all Advantage card products and all card activity including ATM, PIN Debit and signature transactions.

There are two foundational products in the SecurLOCK suite of products:


When one or more authorized transactions on a card cause the fraud monitoring system to suspect fraud, the card is automatically blocked. A case is created and a Fraud Alert Detail email is sent to the FI. All Advantage member institutions participate in SL fraud monitoring and case creation.

What can you do to maximize the cardholder experience? Look up the card in CMSe/Cardbase and review the transaction(s) in question as well as the Notes screen. Set a travel indictor if warranted. Contact the cardholder if necessary. Respond to each Fraud Alert Detail Report via email or telephone. (Email or telephone responses from the institution are required whether the IVR, a Fraud Specialist or the financial institution assisted the cardholder.)If your institution participates in Communicate, verify whether SecurLOCK was able to contact the cardholder. If telephone numbers or email addresses are missing on CMSe, contact the cardholder to get them.


Fraud rules are included in the fraud scoring process and are also applied independently to each transaction. Rules are a fraud protection system which declines high-fraud-risk authorizations based on merchant name and location, risk scoring, or other factors. All Advantage member institutions participate in SL Block. A Fraud Alert Detail Report is not sent to the financial institution when an authorization has been blocked.

What can you do to maximize the cardholder experience? When a cardholder contacts their institution to report their card is not working, look up the card in CMSe/Cardbase and review the transaction(s) in question as well as the Notes screen. Set a travel indictor if warranted. Proactively, you can review the Daily Fraud Reports on StarView and look up the card in CMSe/Cardbase. Review the transaction(s) in question as well as the Notes screen. Set a travel indictor if warranted. Contact the cardholder if necessary. (FAL01D – FAM Real Time Decline Detail and FAL06D – FAM Card Status Change)

Potential Cyber Activity from Iran

There has been some concern raised about the possibility of increased cyber activity from Iran in retaliation of the airstrike that killed the Iranian general on January 3, 2020. FIS has a Global Rule already implemented blocking all transactions from Iran due to OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) sanctions. Also, activity from Iran should be declined by the card brand networks prior to even reaching the FIS systems.

If you have further questions, please contact Adam at 605-335-5104.

Star View Service Intermittent

FIS has identified an issue with the EFT Star View Web application. Users may experience intermittent issues with logging into the application or the inability to download reports.

We do not yet have an estimated time of when Star View will be available but will provide an update when we receive one from our processor, FIS.

We apologize for any convenience.


Fuel Pump Fraud Mitigation

Approximately 1.3 percent of total U.S. payment fraud occurs at fuel pumps. The gas station can be a popular first stop for fraudsters because they can test stolen or counterfeit cards without the risk of facing an employee. Research shows that when prompted to go inside a store to complete a transaction, most criminals will drive away instead.

As an issuer, your financial institution benefits from the following Visa fraud mitigation tools. Another layer of mitigation will be implemented with chip technology at AFDs in October 2020.


Visa Transaction Advisor (VTA) is a merchant service that has been able to reduce fraud by more than half for merchants using the service.

When a debit card is inserted at the pump, Visa analyzes more than 500 pieces of data about the cardholder’s account and global fraud trends. VTA determines the risk of the transaction and provides a risk score that helps merchants identify transactions with a higher risk of fraud.

If a transaction is denied, the cardholder may be prompted to go inside the station to pay. If the cardholder does go inside, the clerk will swipe the card to preauthorize the transaction and the cardholder can then pump their fuel up to that preauthorized amount.

The reject reason on CMSe for the original transaction will be “AE-Account on Neg File” and the denial on Data Navigator will be “903-Re-enter Transaction.” This message also appears if a cardholder was asked at the pump to key in their zip code and the incorrect zip was keyed.


Address Verification Service (AVS) verifies the card ZIP Code. If the cardholder swipes their card at the fuel pump and is prompted to enter their zip code, the merchant sends an AVS ZIP request to the issuer. The issuer responds with a code that indicates whether the zip code given by the cardholder matches the address in CMSe. A partial or no-match response may indicate an elevated fraud risk. Depending on the risk score, the cardholder could proceed with pumping fuel, be prompted to pre-pay inside the store or be denied. The AVS process is separate from the transaction authorization process.


Velocity Checking is a feature of SecurLOCK Fraud Manager that monitors the frequency of transactions on the same card. Two AFD transactions for the same card within a 24-hour period at the same location will cause the cardholder to be directed to the store to complete the purchase on the third attempt.

CB 933 Report Updates

The Star View Cardbase 933 report provides a monthly summary of all approved cardholder transactions by transaction type and BIN. You can use this report to determine the transaction usage types and volumes of card use. The 933 is useful for tracking data after a marketing campaign or other activity designed to affect card usage.

Other statistical data incudes the total dollar amount of transaction types and the average amount per transaction.

Read the full update and view a sample report here.