MasterCard is testing a new program to protect purchases made on credit cards by using smartphone geolocation. A new partnership with Syniverse lets shoppers limit foreign purchases made on those cards unless their smartphone is also in that location. That measure is designed to keep fraud at bay, while minimizing calls to banks to alert them to travel, something that can make a card useless unless the bank or credit card company knew you were traveling. With this system, the credit card company will simply check the location on your smartphone to see if you're in the same place as your card.

To keep calls to banks at bay

So far, Mastercard says the program is still in testing, and requires that cardholders opt-in. It's also combining that with what is essentially a marketing program to push prepaid mobile data packages from foreign carriers, as well as coupons and offers, both of which pop up when you're in certain locations.