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Visa app will track your location to prevent credit card fraud

CNET's Tim Stevens joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss the new app
New Visa app aims to enhance cyber security and fight fraud 02:16

If you travel a lot, you've probably run into this problem at one time or another: You try to use your credit card far from home and the transaction gets rejected out of concern that your card may have been stolen.

Now Visa is planning to introduce a new app to spare you the aggravation. But as with many conveniences in the tech world, there's a trade-off in privacy. In order to do its job, the app will be tracking your location wherever you go.

"Basically what this app does is it reports your location from your smartphone," CNET Editor at Large Tim Stevens explained on "CBS This Morning." "Your phone always knows where you are, and what this app does is it tells that location to the bank so the bank also knows where you are."

The app, called Visa Mobile Location Confirmation, aims to prevent credit card fraud by confirming that you and your card are actually in the same location when a purchase is being made.

CNET reports that location tracking will be an "opt in" service, meaning it won't work unless a user specifically gives Visa permission to access location data. Users who download the app on their phones will also have the option to turn location tracking off at any time.

Stevens says for him, the extra financial protection is worth sacrificing some personal data.

"I'm a little more concerned about having my credit card stolen than in Visa knowing where I am," he said. "When you think about it, whenever you use your Visa card they know exactly where you are and exactly when you were there."

The Visa app is just the latest effort to curb the growing problem of credit card fraud and identity theft. Fraudulent credit and debit card charges were estimated at $11 billion dollars in 2013, up from $8 billion the year before.

The app will make its debut in April and should be available from most Visa card issuers by the end of the year.

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