Equifax Hack: What are credit card companies doing to help?

Equifax (NYSE:EFX) has put 143 million Americans on edge after a security breach exposed their personal information to potential hackers. And while Equifax has been scrambling to help consumers feel more secure, the big question is—what are major credit card companies doing to make their consumers feel at ease?

FOX Business reached out to some of the major credit card companies and banks who issue the cards to see what new policies have been implemented since the hack was announced.

American Express – 58 million cardholders

American Express is available in over 130 different countries, making it the world’s largest issuer of credit cards in terms of transactions.

Ashley Tufts, director of Corporate Affairs & Communications at American Express told FOX Business that after the breach was announced, the company implemented enhanced fraud monitoring on impacted card accounts.

“As a reminder, it’s important to note, Card Members are not liable for any fraudulent charges. American Express has sophisticated monitoring systems and internal safeguards to help detect fraudulent and suspect activity. If we see there is unusual activity, which may be fraud, our standard practice is to contact the Card Member. If we verify with the Card Member that the charge is fraudulent, we will replace the Card,” Tufts said. Additionally, she adds that consumers can sign up for free fraud and other account activity notifications via email, SMS text messaging or app push notification (if they have registered for the American Express mobile app). The company also encourages members to review their statements regularly and notify the company immediately if they notice any unusual activity.

Mastercard—191 million cardholders

Mastercard is the second major credit card network in the U.S., according to Cardrates.com.

Seth Eisen, senior vice president of external communications told FOX Business the company’s policy when it comes to fraudulent activity hasn’t changed since the hack.

“Any purchase or transaction made with a MasterCard card is protected by our Zero Liability policy. Consumers are not responsible for purchases made with a lost or stolen card. Any concerned consumer should review their account statements and activity. If they suspect fraudulent or unusual transactions, we encourage them to contact the bank that issues their card for assistance and more information,” Eisen said. In addition, Mastercard offers ID Theft alerts and protection to all U.S Mastercard debit and credit card consumers. The company adds that they also partner with CSID, an industry leader in identity protection and fraud detection, to help keep information safe.

VISA – 323 million cardholders

Visa Inc. is the world’s leader in digital payments, capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second.

A Visa spokesperson told FOX Business that when payment cards are involved in a potential data compromise, “it is important to know that consumers are protected against fraudulent purchases with Visa’s zero liability protection policy.”

Additionally, when such incidents occur, “Visa works with the breached entity and its financial institution to provide card issuers with the compromised accounts so they can take steps to protect consumers through independent fraud monitoring and, if needed, reissuing cards. Because of Visa's advanced fraud-monitoring capabilities, the incidence of fraud involving compromised accounts is actually rare, and fraud rates remain near historic lows. As always, Visa encourages cardholders to regularly monitor their accounts, carefully review statements and notify their issuing bank promptly of any unusual activity,” the spokesperson said.

Capital One –45 million cardholders

Sarah Strauss, managing vice president, US Card at Capital One told FOX Business that this “event is another reminder of how serious the cybersecurity risks are that we all face.”

“We take security seriously, and have rigorous fraud alert systems in place that actively monitor Capital One accounts for suspicious activity, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As always, Capital One cardholders are protected by our $0 fraud liability policy, which means they’re not held responsible for any fraud on their credit or debit cards. We encourage customers to actively monitor their accounts, specifically by downloading the Capital One mobile app, setting up transaction alerts, and enrolling in a free credit monitoring service, like CreditWise from Capital One. You don’t need to be a Capital One customer to enroll—and CreditWise gives you free access to your credit score and your TransUnion credit report, both of which are updated weekly,” Strauss said.