I hold two credit cards in Canada- one from a large financial institution (TD Canada) and one with an online bank (PC Financial).

When using these cards for travel, for the TD Mastercard, I am okay to use the card anywhere I travel without notifying the bank. For the PC Mastercard, I am to fill out an online travel advisory form.

I think this is a great example of reverse psychology at play- I feel more "confident" using my PC Mastercard knowing that the bank has received and approved my travel request.

When first using my TD card on a trip, I always feel like the transaction may be rejected as it may be flagged as fraudulent. Funnily enough, this hasn't happened (so far).

Two questions:

  • Why does one bank ask for said advisory while the other doesn't?
  • In the case where the bank isn't asking for an advisory, how do they to differentiate a transaction that's authentic versus one that isn't?

One bank is more willing to risk losses and customer hassle in exchange for lower processing costs than the other bank is. It's strictly a business decision.

Regarding how they detect suspicious transactions: Patten detection based on your past usage history. I've gotten calls asking me to confirm that I just placed a large order with a company I'd never bought from before, or in a country that I haven't previously visited, or...

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