PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Imagine your bank sharing details about the purchases you made with your credit or debit card. After all, they know exactly what you bought. And now, as 3-On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan finds, they’re using that information to target you.
Each time you pay with plastic your bank is watching, analyzing and calculating every move you make.
And more and more often they may be using your purchases to lure you into spending more money.
“I was a little bit surprised,” said Oren Milgram.
When Milgram opened his most recent online credit card statement he found discount offers mixed in with the rest of his charges-like, “save up to 35% on tax software” and discount entertainment.
“When you take your debit or credit card and use it at the point of sale. It looks at where you shop, how often you shop, what you’ve purchased,” said Mark Johnson with the Loyalty Marketers Association.
Johnson says some banks are now making deals with retailers and then try to get you to try their products by tracking what you’re interested in.
“What that allows these banks and issuers to do is to amalgamate all this information cross reference that with what they know about your monetary income, your lifestyle, life stage and make more tailored transactional marketing offers to you,” said Johnson.
“I don’t think consumers really understand what’s going on here,” said privacy expert, Justin Brookman.
Brookman says banks are collecting a tremendous amount of information and you should be worried about your privacy.
“It’s just another potential point for someone to lose information or for hackers to get it,” said Brookman.
If you don’t want banks to share your information, be sure to read and respond to those privacy rights pamphlets. If you “opt out”, that protects you from banks sharing some of your info with third parties. And the new ads have been a hit with some consumers. Oren actually finds them helpful.
“Like most consumers I’m concerned about my privacy and as long as I have a way to opt out or opt in I’m comfortable,” said Milgram.
Some states have laws about how banks can use your information. The Federal Trade Commission is proposing a new “do not track” program which would allow consumers to “opt out” completely.
Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS 3