What is geolocation?

Geofencing is the ability to track a device’s location using GPS, cell towers, WiFi hotspots, or a combination of these. Since the devices are used by individuals, geolocation uses positioning systems to track an individual’s whereabouts to latitude and longitude coordinates, or more practically, a physical address. Mobile and desktop devices can use geolocation.

Key points to remember

  • Geolocation refers to the use of location technologies such as GPS or IP addresses to identify and track the location of connected electronic devices.
  • Since these devices are often carried on an individual’s person, geolocation is often used to track people’s movements and location and surveillance.
  • Geolocation is widely used in the financial services industry to help prevent fraud and give customers information about nearby services, but can also pose unwanted privacy concerns.

Understanding geolocation

Geolocation has a wide variety of uses and methods. IP addresses can be used to determine the country, region, state, city or postal code. Geolocation can be used to determine time zone and exact positioning coordinates, for example to track wildlife or cargo shipments. If you’ve ever shopped online and wanted to find an item at a nearby store, ordered food online after researching a local restaurant, or looking for the nearest ATM, you’ve used location-based services. .

Examples: geolocation in financial services

Geolocation is particularly useful when applied to financial services. For instance:

Payments: Financial institutions with mobile apps whose users have location tracking enabled can match the location of a customer’s phone with the location where the customer’s payment card is used to detect possible payment card theft. If the two locations do not match, the fraud can be detected immediately and the card closed. If the two locations match, the customer can avoid any service disruption that would normally occur when the payment card provider detects unusual card activity.

Handling insurance claims: A insurance claims The adjustment app can use geolocation technology to substantiate an insured’s location and minimize the number of fraudulent or exaggerated claims the insurer receives. A visual complaints platform allows policyholders to work with their insurance agents using a web-based, real-time communication platform to assess the extent of the loss and determine a fair amount for the claim. Customers use their phone’s cameras to engage in a live video call with their insurance agents to assess damages. The agent can take screenshots, zoom in, or use the phone’s flashlight to get additional details and create damage records for the customer’s file. This technology creates an environment where more customers are satisfied with the claims payments they receive and prevents them from filing complaints with regulators, resulting in better outcomes for insurance companies and their customers. .

Banking: Bluetooth beacons, the same type of geolocation technology that is placed in stores to offer users who have downloaded the store’s app to receive targeted discounts while giving the store data about consumer buying behavior, offer new forms of convenience to bank customers. Geofencing allows bank customers to access branch ATMs with their mobile phones rather than their after-hours ATM cards, which is convenient. Beacon technology also improves service in smart banking branches by notifying bank employees when a customer is waiting too long in a queue so that the customer can be directed to another bank employee at a desk who can help him.

Geolocation and privacy issues

With the advantages of geolocation come the disadvantages of security and privacy issues. When using a device or application that enables geolocation, it is important that consumers understand how this data is used and with whom it is shared so that they can protect their privacy and security. And companies that use geolocation data must ensure that this information is protected so that employees cannot access it inappropriately. Customers also don’t want geolocation data they’ve shared for one purpose, like banking convenience, to be reused for other purposes, like The advertisementwithout their knowledge and without their permission.

Financial services companies that want to retain their customers’ trust need to let them know exactly how their geolocation data is being used. For example, an app might tell a user how their location data will be used when they first open it after installing it, and then allow them to opt out of sharing their location or using the application if he does not. satisfied with company policy. Users should also know if an app will allow them to delete their geolocation history after the fact if they change their mind about what they shared. Without this trust, further efforts to implement geolocation technology could stagnate.

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