Push Notifications Help Credit Card Customers Successfully Manage Accounts
According to bank data generated by Javelin Strategy & Research, 40% of millennial consumers (ages 18 to 34) receive push notifications, texts, and pop-ups generated by apps on their smartphones to alert them to credit card activity.
There are several types of notifications available from most credit card companies to help card users stay on top of spending, avoid late payment fees, and monitor account activity for signs of fraud.
Getting a text or pop-up on a cell phone when charges appear on a credit card account helps stop potential fraud. The notifications are customizable. Some people prefer to skip alerts for transactions under $20, for example. The specifics vary according to the card issuer.
This is especially valuable for accounts with joint owners or authorized users. It keeps the lines of communication open to avoid spending past a budget's limit or even the credit limit of the card. It's easy to forget about small, everyday charges and exceed the card's limit, especially if there's carry over from last month's balance.
Spending notification alerts help credit card users connect to their spending in a more meaningful way, which could translate to less spending on non-essentials and more money in their savings accounts.
Missing a credit card due date happens to nearly everyone. Activating automatic payments is an easy solution for people with enough steady income to easily cover their monthly expenses, but that isn't a reality for everyone.
Billing notifications, available from every card issuer, serve as a gentle reminder that the bill is due within just a few days. Online payment options make paying the bill in real time (and avoiding high late payment fees) easy.
Credit card issuers will reverse late fees once or twice each year for customers who otherwise pay on time. It's worth a ten-minute call to customer service to save the $30-$50 fee.
Keeping credit card balances below 30% of the credit limit is a smart way to keep credit scores healthy. A good portion of a FICO score is made up of credit usage, so maxing out cards could mean a dip in the score. Certain apps allow card users to set customized alerts. This could help consumers make smarter choices when it comes to spending above their means.
Cardholders who are new to the credit scene and have low limits on their accounts can use balance notifications as a reminder to reign in their spending. Starter cards with low limits often have higher fees, as well. Credit cards for people with low FICO scores or a thin credit file have especially harsh financial consequences for going above a spending limit. Most credit card issuers have a link to their app that's easy to search for in the app store. Some will happily text a link to the app to make downloading simple.
Before logging in to a credit card account on a cell phone via an app, make sure the phone is password or thumbprint protected in case it is lost or stolen.
Credit card alert preferences, under "Settings" are easy to customized by choosing from the list of options. Changing settings is just as easy. Credit card alerts are effective immediately, which makes the few moments it takes to set up the app worth the effort.
For many card holders, convenience is the main reason for using credit to pay bills and make purchases. It's an extra measure of safety, as well. Zero-liability protection means card holders aren't financially responsible, according to federal law, for fraudulent charges. Debit cards also provide some protection, but it's not as extensive as credit card protections. Getting smartphone alerts simply offers an extra layer of customizable protection to keep accounts safe, monitor spending, and avoid late payment fees.