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San Jose Startup Rolls Out Tool For Controlling Credit Cards, Preventing Fraud

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) -- A San Jose startup appears to be on the cutting edge of "credit card control" to customize your security preferences with the tap of a smartphone.

Soon, you'll be able to use your phones to temporarily deactivate a credit or debit card. Anyone who tries to run the card won't get very far.

For the past year, banks have been secretly testing this card control technology.

Ondot, a San Jose-based startup, has been working on it in stealth mode for years and says the idea started when one of its founders' cards was stolen.

"The idea was, 'Why can't I just lock this card? Just the way I lock my home or my car, I should be able to lock my money,'" said Rachna Ahlawat of Ondot.

Locking and unlocking the card is easy. What's more, you can set spending limits, set geographical boundaries on where the card will work and only allow purchases at certain types of business, like gas station or a supermarket.

"So essentially," Ahlawat said, "I'm able to take a general purpose card and create a card based on my preferences, on my needs, on where and when I shop."

Ondot discovered that with card control, fraud went down by as much as 60 percent. And customers actually used the protected card 40 percent more of the time.



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