Surprise! The sales clerk at the grocery store informs you that your credit card has been declined. We’ve all been there; point-of-sale declines are a pain and embarrassing. The good news is that strategic efforts are in the works to help improve the customer experience when those declines are potentially caused by credit and debit card fraud. 

"We continue to work to get ahead of the next fraud scheme so we can reduce or eliminate the impact on our customers," said Todd Rosenthal, head of credit card product management at PNC.

One of our top priorities is mitigating fraud, including using analytics to focus on reducing fraud while creating a positive buying experience.

-Todd Rosenthal

Certain red flags may lead to a credit or debit card decline:

  • Shopping away from home or outside the U.S.
  • Buying large or expensive items.
  • Inconsistencies with your usual spending pattern. 

"It can create a negative experience when a customer uses their card and it is declined for possible fraudulent activity," said Rosenthal. "We want people to feel confident and comfortable that PNC is protecting them and not be frustrated by service interruptions."

Owning the Customer Experience 

"The improvements we've made over the past few years have significantly improved the customer experience at the point of sale for both credit and debit cardholders," said Rosenthal. “Our improvements on the back end mean fewer worries and better protection for our cardholders.” 

Here are a few enhancements PNC has made to help you minimize your risk of a point-of-sale decline:            

  • Travel Notifications: Customers can notify banks of travel plans to help avoid declines. In the past two years, the number of credit and debit cardholders notifying PNC of their travel plans has increased 200 percent.
  • Customer care around the clock: It’s important to notify your bank if you suspect you might be a victim of an unauthorized transaction. The card-loss prevention team at PNC is available to serve customers 24/7.
  • Phone and email alerts: When a credit card customer has a phone number or email on file, they can receive a call, text or email letting them know their card has been blocked for suspicious activity. Further digital enhancements are coming this year to strengthen and accelerate resolution in the event of a point-of-sale interruption.

These best practices and tips can help prevent fraud on your account:

  • Pick a PIN you can easily remember that is not a birthday, phone number or a repetition of a single number.
  • Never write your PIN on your card or a slip of paper that you keep in your purse or wallet.
  • Always shield the keypad when entering your PIN.
  • Be sure you can see your card at all times when it’s being used for a transaction.
  • When shopping online, make sure the website you’re visiting is secure (indicated by https://) before you enter a card number.