Innovation That Matters

Service scans users' credit card bills for errors and scams

Government & Defence

If consumers dislike filling out health insurance claims enough to pay someone to handle the chore for them, it seems a pretty safe bet that they’d feel similarly about the task of monitoring their credit card bills as well. Sure enough, BillGuard is a personal finance security service that scans users’ credit and debit card bills each day for unwanted and unauthorized transactions. Nine out of 10 people don’t bother to check their bills and statements regularly, BillGuard says, with the result that the average consumer loses more than USD 300 a year to unwanted charges. To use BillGuard, on the other hand, users need only register the cards they want protected. BillGuard then scans the activity on those cards every day for hidden charges, billing errors, forgotten subscriptions, scams and fraud, and it alerts users when their attention is required. Each new transaction is analyzed by more than 100 automated tests, the company says; BillGuard also scours the web for complaints posted by others about similar charges and merchants that appear on users’ bills. In addition to any alerts, which are emailed immediately, BillGuard sends users a scan report every month with a quick overview of its findings and an indication of how “clean” the covered cards have been. BillGuard, which is based in New York and Israel, offers its service for free, and plans to earn revenue working with banks and merchants instead, according to a report in The New York Times. As with EUclaim and Miss Refund — both of which help consumers claim travel refunds — BillGuard is yet further proof that consumers’ pain is entrepreneurs’ gain. Currently, however, it serves only U.S. users. Time to apply a little pain relief of your own in other parts of the world?



Download PDF