Chase what matters. Does security?
January 19, 2010 5:33 AM   Subscribe

Why is it that Chase makes an effort to protect against fraud by only showing the last four digits of credit card numbers throughout most elements of the Chase web site, however, a would-be thief can easily see all digits of the account by simply opening a statement?

I print out my statements monthly so I can send a copy to my health insurance provider and it's ridiculous that my credit card number has to be blacked out six times on a statement that is readily available online.

After months of laughing at the absurdity of this, I finally sent an inquiry to Chase this morning, but I'm wondering whether there's a logistical reason for this other than laziness.

I can understand the importance of making statements readily available, but isn't there a better way? Citibank, for instance, allows you to request statements which are then mailed to you within a business day or two. Would it make more sense to send an e-mail or text message asking for confirmation of the request and then just e-mail the statement?
posted by Raze2k to Work & Money (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Actually, this does make at least some sense.

If someone has access to your online account, you're screwed. Even without access to your account number per se, they can send money anywhere they want using bill pay features.

But if someone is looking over your shoulder while you're online, they might be able to write down your account number if the whole thing were printed. This number could be useful in a variety of ways, and as routing numbers aren't that difficult to come up with, a clever observer could get that information just by observation.

In this case, the weakest link in security is getting logged in. If they can do that, it doesn't matter whether the numbers are blanked out. But if they can't, obscuring account numbers on the screen helps prevent "casual" observation, at least in theory.
posted by valkyryn at 5:42 AM on January 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

BTW, I can see my account number on the Citibank statement PDF on the web site, same as Chase.
posted by smackfu at 5:46 AM on January 19, 2010

Just in case you didn't know, if you log into your Chase account a computer other than the one you usually log in, there are extra security steps you have to go through before you can access the account. This makes it a little harder I guess for your online account to become compromised.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:48 AM on January 19, 2010

The last four digits of a credit card number are the bank's identification number. All Chase cards have the same last four digits.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:22 PM on January 19, 2010

First four maybe? (And even then Mastercard and Visa cards will be different.)
posted by smackfu at 8:35 PM on January 19, 2010

(head smack) Yes, you're right.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:47 PM on January 19, 2010

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