Nothing is worse than being in a foreign country with only the cash you have in your pocket, especially when you’re travelling for business and may need to spend lots of money to rearrange your itinerary or impress a client. To avoid the embarrassment and inconvenience of a bank or credit card freeze, take steps to prepare your financial accounts for use overseas beforehand.
Financial institutions spend tons of resources trying to prevent fraud. They track your spending habits, including how much you typically spend and where you spend it. If your habits suddenly change, your account may be automatically frozen by the fraud prevention department. If you’re overseas when this happens, it may not be so easy to get in touch with someone who can lift the restrictions on your account.
To avoid fraud alert triggers on business trips, take these three steps. First, verify that your contact, profile, and security information is up-to-date for each financial account you plan to use while travelling, and that you know all your secret access PINs, passwords, and question answers that a company agent might ask of you to verify your identity. Most importantly, check that the phone number listed to contact you corresponds to the phone you plan to take with you overseas. Some companies may only allow you to verify your identity by voice or text from the phone number listed on your account.
Second, ensure you have the version of your bank and credit cards with the most recent security features. Europe and certain other areas of the world are typically on the cutting edge of card security, so make sure your cards have the features that work with the systems used in the areas of your planned travels. Upgrade to protect yourself and prevent any unauthorized access to your account that may result in a debit or credit card freeze.
Last, call your bank and credit card companies before you leave, and tell them your itinerary. This simple step can prevent a lot of hassles, especially if you plan to visit a country known for high fraud activity, including Mexico, India, Brazil, and the United Arab Emirates. If you don’t want to travel with large amounts of cash, sprucing up your electronic payment options before you leave is the savvy way to manage your business travel.