Finding cardholders when needed.

Cardholder contact information is a simple, but often forgotten, topic. Sure, you capture the information each time an employee obtains a card, but have you reviewed it since then? Does your issuer have everything they need? It plays a role in your fraud defense, as explained below. If the information is incomplete, inconsistent, and/or outdated, you may run into issues. 

Make It Complete 

Increasingly, issuers are seeking cardholders’ mobile numbers, so they can more quickly validate suspicious transactions. Text messages are a good option and far more effective than trying to reach someone on their desk phone. As a program manager, it can be tempting to direct the issuer to contact you first in these cases, but this only slows the process down. If mobile numbers are desirable, ask your cardholders to provide and follow up to confirm completion.

In addition, ensure your cardholders know how the issuer will contact them and what the communication looks or sounds like, so they can discern legitimate communications from fraudulent ones. (This tip is part of my risk analysis template, available for purchase.)

Make It Consistent  

The longer your organization has had a card program, the more likely it is that cardholder contact information is not uniform; for example, variations in cardholder addresses. Consistency supports memory retention, which can matter in cases of transaction verification, as well as during some payment processes. 

 Cardholders who do not respond to issuer communications about suspicious transactions are not upholding their full responsibilities related to fraud detection.

Cardholders who do not respond to issuer communications about suspicious transactions are not upholding their full responsibilities related to fraud detection.

Confirm It is Current

Do you require cardholders to review their contact information that is on file with the issuer? Add this to my list of 12 housekeeping tasks—now 13—to complete annually. While you are at it, confirm that the issuer’s records are accurate. You might find discrepancies ranging from minor (e.g., the wrong desk/office phone number for someone) to significant (e.g., issuer shows an open card account that you thought was closed). 


While cardholder contact information is a small part of Commercial Card program management, keeping it complete, consistent and current can pay off in significant ways. Your issuer will thank you!


About the Author

Blog post author Lynn Larson, CPCP, is the founder of Recharged Education. With more than 15 years of Commercial Card experience, her mission is to make industry education readily accessible to all. Learn more

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