Banking logic

I was checking my credit card statement the other day when I saw an interesting transaction – a transaction of 199.26Dhs, against a credit card number that I’d cancelled over a year ago after the card was lost.

Citibank gave me a Priority Pass over a year ago, as part of the benefit of getting a Citibank Ultimate visa card. Priority Pass gets you access to airport lounges all over the world. Citibank cancelled this service at the end of 2011, so I was surprised to see a charge relating to Priority Pass in Feb 2012.

I called up Citibank, who explained to me that the charge related to my using a lounge in Dubai airport on Dec 23 2011, just before the Priority Pass service expired.

We had a long discussion. The (helpful) lady on the phone explained that as I had already used my Priority Pass more than twice in 2011, this visit was chargeable. Now, I don’t remember any such mention of the pass being limited to two visits a year, but that’s probably my fault for not reading the small print.

The key thing is that by using the Priority Pass a charge was incurred. Without my being informed or asked to approve a cancelled credit card was invoiced, with the sum appearing on my bill. That’s not very secure.

In parallel, my ATM card expired in January. I haven’t received a new one yet. And because I haven’t received it and registered it, I can’t access my current account online. When calling the bank I was told that this is for ‘security reasons’. I can call phone banking and transfer money and other similar things – but I can’t go online and access my current account because an ATM card has expired. For some reason, that would not be insecure. If all my current account related services had been cancelled that would have been annoying and stupid, but at least consisted with the ‘security’ message.

So, charges can be placed against an expired credit card.

But because an ATM card I never use has expired, I can’t view my current account details online. But I can still call up and get the same info over the phone. And that’s secure.


Phew, I feel better now!


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