Ondot hands back control to the consumer

At Finovate 2018, Ondot systems showcased new and innovate mobile app features to hand back card control to the consumer, Briony Richter speaks to Gary Singh, VP of marketing at Ondot

Ondot systems aim to address the need for banks to properly digitally connect with their customers through its mobile app solution. The demonstration showed how Card Control allows cardholders to remotely control their existing debit and credit cards.

Customers using the app can control when their card is active, the spend limits, transaction types, merchant categories and location. Banks are increasingly becoming out of touch with an ever-growing digitally savvy consumer base. Ondot seeks to break through that barrier by giving customers more control of their bank cards. That could re-ignite the digital relationship customers have with their banks.

“It’s all about creating digital experiences,” Singh says. “We built an experience around before, during and after a payment and looked at the interaction between the bank and the cardholder. Banks and financial institutions are losing their connection with consumers.

“What sets us apart is the instant communication. We are offering real-time information. Cardholders will get instant alerts about transactions made, and a lot of people enjoy that feature,” Singh adds.

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One of the innovative features is the ‘switch on/off’ control. This enables cardholders to remotely activate or deactivate their cards within the app, a feature, Singh claims, gives a lot of comfort to users.

Opening the app, the status of all cards can be viewed together. By swiping the green dot the user is activating the card. To deactivate a card, the cardholder simply swipes the green dot off.

This function can also override the cardholders’ bank if the bank blocks the card. If a card is stolen, lost and then blocked, the cardholder can seamlessly switch it back on.

“Rather than blocking your card, we will ask you first. Even if the card is 100% compromised, the cardholder can still access it.”

The app will then give the cardholder three options. To keep it active until:

1.    The next transaction. After the next transaction has been made the card will deactivate
2.    For 5 minutes
3.    Until I turn it off.


Using the app, customers can decide where the card is allowed to be used. That can be deciding its activity range in a city, a larger geographical area or a specified radius around the phone’s location.

By enabling these features, transactions made will only be approved if the card is being used in a location that the user has chosen. If the card is used elsewhere, the transaction will be declined, preventing false declines.

 “The function that is really taking us to the next level is our location feature. In the app I can have three different types of control. One is the international control. So my residence is the US, now if I turn it on, what this means is that my card will only work in the US. When I travel, I can add a travel plan, adding a location and duration of time and the card will work on those set dates, Singh states.

What this essentially means is the user no longer needs to worry about their card being declined while travelling.

Another feature involves two factor authentications. By switching ‘my location’ on, the cardholder can only use the card if the app and card are physically close together. The location is always on but there is now the added security of needing both the app and card to make a purchase.

The last feature for location is region control, meaning cardholders can choose an area within a state, city or town that the card can be used in. Singh mentions that it is useful for parents who can decide where their child can use the card.

Merchant control

Merchant control enables cardholders to allow or block a card for use in specific merchant categories.

The app provides a large variety of merchant categories such as gas stations, entertainment, personal care, supermarkets and travel transactions.

Singh adds that each payment interaction through ondot’s app reinforces a positive user experience, one that banks are failing to hold on to.

Spend limits

This features supports cardholders in setting up spend limits to help them manage and save money. The app will allow:

•    Cardholders to set spend threshold for transaction amounts
•    Provides settings for weekly and monthly spend thresholds
•    Enables parents and businesses to specify dependent and employee spend limits.

If any transactions made seem fraudulent, a cardholder can instantly alert the bank within the app.

Ondot’s goal is to create an engaging customer experience around payment habits and take the data available and make it useful to consumers.

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