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Security features of Mastercard credit cards

From 24-hour support to data encryption, find out how Mastercard helps protect you from credit card fraud and security issues.

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If your credit card carries a Mastercard logo on it, that means that every transaction you make is processed through the Mastercard payment network. As one of the largest payment processing companies in the world (Visa being the other big player here), Mastercard also works closely with banks and other credit card providers to make sure your account stay safe.

So, let's take a look at exactly what features and services Mastercard offers to protect you against theft and fraud issues.

Need help with your Mastercard now?

If your Mastercard credit card has been lost, stolen or hacked, call Mastercard Australia's 24/7 security service on 1800 120 113. If you're overseas, visit the Mastercard global services page for a list of toll-free numbers for different countries – or call collect to the United States on +1 636 722 7111.

What security features are available on Mastercard credit cards?

  • Chip technology. The microchip that is embedded in your credit card encrypts the sensitive data that's needed to make in-person payments. Compared to cards that only have a magnetic stripe, this technology makes it harder for the card to be copied or counterfeited. However, you do need to insert the card for transactions in order to get the full benefits of the chip technology.
  • Contactless security. Every time you tap and pay with your Mastercard, encryption protects your transaction data. This encryption is unique for each transaction and also helps protect your contactless mobile payments. The fact that you can tap to pay without handing over your card also makes it difficult for the card to be skimmed or copied.
  • SecureCode. This is an optional service that offers added security for online purchases. When Mastercard SecureCode is available, you will be sent a code (usually via SMS), asked a security question or prompted to enter a pre-chosen password before the payment is processed. This step helps verify that you are making the purchase and, by extension, also reduces the risk of unauthorised transactions. Note: Mastercard SecureCode is only available for some cards and on certain websites. You may also need to register your card through your bank's website to activate SecureCode.
  • Tokenisation. While chip technology encrypts your card data for in-person transactions, tokenisation offers a similar type of security for online transactions. This technology replaces your Mastercard credit card's 16-digit number with a unique alternate number that's known as a "token". Put another way: when tokenisation is used, your card's details cannot be stored, hacked or compromised. Tokenisation can be used for online transactions, in-app purchases and in-person mobile payments.

What if my Mastercard credit card is lost, stolen or used for fraud?

woman's hand with a gold credit card
If your account is compromised, it's important to contact both your credit card provider and Mastercard as quickly as possible. While it is easy to panic when your account is compromised, be aware that there are services that help protect both your money and your identity. With a Mastercard credit card, this includes:

  • Zero liability policy. This policy helps protects you from unauthorised transactions made in-person, online, on your mobile or over the phone. You will not be held liable for payments made by someone else using your Mastercard credit card, as long as you have kept your card details safe and reported any theft, loss or suspicious activity to your credit card provider as soon as possible.Basically, if your account is used for fraud and you've kept it safe, this policy means you'll be refunded for the amount that was taken.
  • Mastercard Global Services. Mastercard's 24/7 phone service offers support when your card is lost, stolen or compromised – no matter where you are in the world. This includes:
      • Notifying your provider within 15 minutes of when you report a card as missing.
      • Emergency card replacement anywhere in the world, usually within 48 hours.
      • Emergency cash advance in the local currency, which is usually available within 2 hours.

It also offers an ATM-location service, access to account information and access to any relevant card benefits (such as Priceless Cities offers).

To reach Mastercard Global Services in Australia, call 1800 120 113. If you're overseas, you can call collect to the US number on +1 636 722 7111. Alternatively, you can download the Global Emergency Contacts list (.pdf) to find numbers by country or location.

What I learned about credit card fraud when it happened to me

mastercard cc logo

Other credit card security features

Depending on your bank or provider, you could also have some access to a range of other credit card security features, including:

  • Physical card details. Your unique credit card number, three-digit CVV security code, signature panel, hologram and account name on the card all combine to help keep it secure. The CVV, in particular, adds a layer of security to online transactions.
  • Expiry date. Credit cards expire at regular intervals so as to reduce the risk of fraud. When your card expires, a new card is sent to you with updated details, including a new card number and expiry date.
  • Fraud monitoring services. Many card providers have specialised teams dedicated to monitoring cardholder activity for fraud, and any irregular transactions are immediately detected and investigated. This is why you may sometimes receive a call or text from your card company to verify that it was you who made a transaction.
  • Chargebacks. Chargebacks can be requested if a transaction has been fraudulent, processed in error (e.g. processed twice at checkout), or if the purchased goods were not received. In these instances, your card provider may initiate a dispute with a merchant to reverse the transaction.

Both Mastercard and your credit card provider offer security measures and support services that can help keep your account and details safe from fraud or other issues. But, if something does happen, letting Mastercard and your credit card provider know straight away will help you get it sorted as quickly as possible.

Compare Mastercard credit cards

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Skye Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
23.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 25 months
$99
Finder Exclusive
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 25 months, up to 110 days interest-free on purchases and flexible instalment plan options.
Citi Rewards Card - Balance Transfer Offer
21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 30 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 30 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 20 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$59
A low rate card offering 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 20 months and a $200 cashback offer.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard
11.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($45 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a $0 first-year annual fee and get a $150 Woolworths Supermarket gift card when you spend $1,000 in the first 60 days. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Qantas Premier Platinum
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$199 annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Get up to 80,000 bonus Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits and a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 18 months. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0
Earn flybuys points for your spending and save with an ongoing $0 annual fee and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months.
Citi Rewards Card - $500 Voucher Offer
21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$99 annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
Get a $500 e-voucher to spend at Myer, JB Hi-Fi or Coles when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, earn points with the Citi Rewards Program.
Citi Clear Card
0.9% for 15 months, reverts to 14.99% p.a.
0.9% p.a. for 15 months
$99
Save with 0.9% p.a. for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. Plus, complimentary purchase insurance cover.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$99
Earn 2 flybuys points / $1 spent and save with a 0% balance transfer offer. Plus, 0% international transaction fees on purchases.
Qantas Premier Everyday
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$49
Get up to 25,000 bonus Qantas points, a 0% balance transfer offer and complimentary insurance covers. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Card
20.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$99 annual fee for the first year ($150 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 80,000 bonus Altitude Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount and a long-term balance transfer offer.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    charlesMay 12, 2019

    There are 4 sets of four digit numbers on my MasterCard debit card. Please, what do they represent?

    • Default Gravatar
      AshMay 13, 2019

      Hi Charles,

      Thank you for contacting Finder.

      The 16-digit number in front of your debit card is your PAN (Permanent Account Number) number or Debit Card Number.

      I hope this helps.

      Please do not hesitate to reach out again if you have additional questions.

      Cheers,
      Ash

  2. Default Gravatar
    fakrulAugust 21, 2016

    Could i transection from foreign country by a mastercard?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeAugust 22, 2016Staff

      Hi Fakrul,

      Thanks for your comment.

      MasterCard credit cards find acceptance in most countries around the world. You can use a MasterCard credit card at any ATM or EFTPOS terminal that displays the MasterCard logo. Please note that international transaction fees may apply.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  3. Default Gravatar
    chidiebereMay 2, 2016

    please, what is CSC on master card?
    How can i validate my master card

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      YsaMay 3, 2016Staff

      Hi Chidiebere,

      MasterCard credit card numbers usually begin with an issuer identification number (IIN). This IIN, ranging from 50-55, is also used to determine the financial institution who is issuing its cards through a card network, such as MasterCard.

      On the side note, you’ll be able to find the three-digit card security code (CSC) on the back of the card, typically printed on the signature panel and after the card number.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Ysa

Credit Cards Comparison

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Skye Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
23.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 25 months
$99
Finder Exclusive
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 25 months, up to 110 days interest-free on purchases and flexible instalment plan options.
ANZ Low Rate - Exclusive Offer
12.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 25 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Finder Exclusive
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 25 months (with a one-time 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first year annual fee on this low rate card.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$295 annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Collect up to 130,000 bonus Qantas Points. Get 100k when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 60 days and 30k after 12 months.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
0% for 17 months, reverts to 20.24% p.a.
20.24% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
Receive a 0% purchase rate offer for 17 months and a $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
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Compare up to 4 providers

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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