Zero Liability (Visa Benefits)

Visa credit cards offer many advantages to the cardholders including zero liability. This essentially means that if there are fraudulent charges made on your Visa card, you are not held accountable to pay for those charges.

Most users shop everywhere with their credit and debit cards – from restaurants to retail shopping to any other charges including groceries, gas, utility bills, online shopping and more. Most of the time, the cardholder uses the card to swipe when making payments.

This can be a potentially hazardous situation. To see how you can prevent card abuse, Visa card has made a sort of self help guide which, if followed, can make your credit/debit card experience relatively hassle free.

What Does Zero Liability Mean For You?

The idea that fraud can be perpetrated on an unknowing customer may be true, but today most people know of credit and debit card fraud and yet can become victims of one. Knowing about fraud does not help if adequate steps aren't taken to ensure that the fraud cannot take place.

One of the best ways to do this is to ensure that your credit or debit card is never out of sight. If you make a purchase on the card, most banks allow online banking to check whether the amount on the transaction made is reflected accurately.

In case a charge is made on your card which you know nothing about, the first step would be to figure out who the merchant is and talk to them directly. Always inform your bank and card issuing company on the same day, if not within the same hour of your discovering the charge. The sooner you inform the relevant authorities, the more likely you will not have to pay for any unauthorized charges. This is zero liability at work.

What Does The Law State?

For credit card users, the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) protects all consumers (credit card and debit cardholders) from unfair billing practices. It also provides a mechanism the address/dispute billing errors.

Visa's zero liability policies guarantee that you will not be held accountable for any fraudulent transactions made on your card. The federal law limits your liability (expenses) to $50 if your credit or debit card is stolen or lost and any unauthorized charges are made on it.

Sometimes, Zero Liability May Not Exactly Mean That

If your credit card is stolen, funds are used from your account and you report the same to the authorities, it is possible that you may get provisional credit for the unauthorized charges. The amount however is subjected to review.

Essentially, the provisional credit may be withheld, delayed, limited or rejected by your lender. The reasons given may include gross negligence, delay in reporting, investigating or verification of the claim, your account standing and credit history. Call your bank or credit card company to know the exact process and stick to the process.

What To Do, Just In Case

Do the basic stuff first – check your credit and online banking statements to see if there are any unauthorized charges. Make sure that you always pay bills on time, and report any unauthorized purchases immediately.

If your account is compromised, Visa will quickly issue you a new credit card while freezing all transactions on the old one. To do so, they have to know about it first. Stay vigilant with your credit card, and let Visa cards' zero liability policy work for you.

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