New App Ondot Is a Remote Control for Your Credit Card

by Joe Epstein on 25 April 2014 0 comments

What's the good of ordering food via your smartphone's Grubhub app or ordering a car via its Uber app if you don't also have an app to make sure there's some money left on your credit card when it gets there? (See also: Apps to Manage Credit Card Rewards)

Well soon you will, thanks to Ondot, a San Jose-based company that just unveiled Card Control, a mobile command center for defeating fraud, all built into your phone.

At the most basic level, the app serves as an extra line of protection against fraud, allowing the user to toggle the card's use on or off, or set the card to only function within certain parameters.

For example, a location-based control means one can set their card to work only in a specific zip code, meaning it will automatically shut off if it gets nabbed and taken for a ride. Or, the app can sync a phone's GPS to the card, effectively disabling it if they're separated (e.g., the card is left behind).

Other users might choose to toggle types of merchants the card will work with, disabling e-merchants until the user manually unlocks them before making a purchase, for instance. (See also: Credit Card Safety When Shopping Online)

And here's where — even for those unconcerned with fraud — the app gets really interesting. That same technology allows parents to limit or toggle types of spending on their kids' credit cards, meaning one might allow food purchases but bar clothing expenditures on any particular card. And the app would even allow parents to monitor their kids' card use in real time.

While the company's been around since 2011 and already raised $18 million in funding, the app itself is just now rolling out, having already partnered with four major card processors working with 10,000 banks and credit unions across the country.

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