The Benefits of Card Controls and Push Notifications


In this day and age, members are looking for products and services that are convenient, easily accessible to them, and empower them to control their finances at the push of a button. Card controls and push notifications are two such offerings your credit union should be taking advantage of. Let’s dive into what these two products are and how your members can effectively utilize them.

What are card controls and push notifications?

So what exactly are card controls and push notifications? Card controls allow your members to lock and unlock their ATM, debit, and credit cards via a mobile application. To lock a card means to temporarily prevent that card from being used for either security or spending purposes. The card can then be unlocked when the member is ready to resume purchases.

Push notifications provide your members with the ability to set up their own transactional activity alerts, meaning they will receive personal notifications for any financial activity they select. A few examples of this might be anytime they spend over $100 dollars, anytime the card is used via a card-not-present situation like an online transaction, or if the card is used to make a foreign purchase.

The basics of card controls

The great news is that setting up alerts and being able to lock and unlock a card are typically offered right within any sort of card control application out there. Meaning that if your credit union doesn’t currently offer these products, it will be fairly simple for you to add them to your list of offerings. While there are many providers for these services, make sure that whichever vendor your credit union works with, the process of turning a card on or off is convenient and easy to find. Make the process as basic as possible.

For instance, to access card controls and set up the alert thresholds, members should only be required to log into the mobile app. If they want to temporarily lock or unlock a card, the member should be able to easily access the deactivate button and shut down the card. The same should apply to finding and setting up push notifications.

Now that we’ve discussed where and how members can access card controls and push notifications, let’s jump into the benefits of offering these products.

Increased security

One of the top benefits of having card activity alerts and controls is that they can help your members catch fraud. Let’s say someone used my credit card online and it was above the dollar threshold I set up. I would then receive the notification prompting me to immediately log in to the app, lock my card, and then notify my credit union. This will additionally help speed up the card dispute process because the member has made your credit union aware very quickly.

Furthermore, if a member loses their wallet, has it stolen, or simply forgets to grab their debit card before leaving the restaurant, they can access card controls to turn their card off. This will prevent anyone who finds the card from using it. If the member is able to recover the card, they can easily turn it back on and resume their purchases. No more panic or calling the credit union; members are in control at all times.

Track budgeting and spending

Another great perk of having this feature in the mobile application is that for those members who want to be able to control their spending, they have the option to lock their card when they have hit the spending limit (or to prevent the account from being overdrawn) and then unlock their card when they are comfortable with spending again. Furthermore, if members want to be able to control their spending better, the use of transactional alerts will also come in handy as it can help them keep a better eye on their spending habits.

Additionally, if members have a debit card attached to their accounts for one of their children, they can control the amount that child is allowed to access from their account. Having the control at the parent’s fingertips means they can shut off a card to restrict their child’s spending while still offering the trust and accessing of funds from their parent’s account when they need it. They also can set up transactional alerts so that they can see where their kids are shopping. This will allow the parents to help their children manage their accounts.

Give members control

Nowadays, there is nothing more essential than putting control into your members’ hands. Time has proven again and again that members prefer self-service and the freedom to control their finances. Card controls and push notifications are two such examples of this. I personally use these products daily and they have helped me in numerous situations. If your credit union isn’t offering these, I strongly encourage you to look into this type of product further.


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