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Security

President’s Choice Financial Mastercard®

With President’s Choice Financial Mastercard®, your online security is important to us. When you apply for a new account or sign in to your existing account, your information is protected by numerous security technologies & controls.

Learn more about our security features, some common fraud schemes, and how to protect yourself online.

Security features

  • Encryption
    Encryption scrambles all information between your personal computer and our website and ensures one of the highest levels of security, privacy, and confidentiality. Your personal information and transactions are kept secure by industry-grade encryption (256-bit encryption where supported by your browser.)

  • Secure Authentication
    Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) server authentication allows you to confirm a web server’s identity. Your browser can automatically check that a server’s certificate and public ID are valid and have been issued by a certificate authority (CA), such as GeoTrust or VeriSign.

  • Firewalls & Site Protection Technologies
    Our Internet firewalls and other site protection technologies secure PC Financial servers from the internet and ensure authorized activity and valid use of our systems. We monitor against suspicious activity and internet traffic.

  • 2-Factor Authentication
    As part of our pcfinanical.ca secure website and mobile apps, you will be asked to validate your identity beyond just your user name and password, through another communication channel. This protects your account by helping to verify that it is actually you attempting to log in or conduct a transaction.

  • Account Setup & Forgotten online password
    To setup your access or reset your password, you will be asked several questions to identify that you are really you (and not someone posing as you) and, once you’ve answered correctly, you’ll be able to access your account.

  • Password Complexity
    In order to keep your account information secure, you will be asked to create and maintain a password complex enough that it’s not easy to guess.

  • Fraud Detection Tools
    PC Financial uses best-in-class fraud-detection tools right from the start of your application. We provide fraud monitoring to our customers on their transactions and have a dedicated team of fraud specialists available to work with customers impacted by fraud.

  • Account Management Tools
    PC Financial Mastercard® makes available various notifications & alerts you can subscribe to help monitor your account activity and transactions. PC Financial Mastercard® also offers optional products that can help you manage your accounts and personal information. See the “Optional Extras” section of the website or call the number on the back of your card for more information on these low-cost extras.

What you can do to ensure your President’s Choice Financial Mastercard® information is safe

  • Keep your account information and password secret.
  • Don’t leave your account information or password in an open area where a passerby might see it.
  • Never leave your computer, phone, or tablet unattended while logged in to the secure PC Financial Mastercard® section of the site.
  • Always sign off of the secure PC Financial Mastercard® section of the site and exit your browser if you’re going to step away from your computer.
  • Don’t send confidential account information (card number, password, etc.) via email.
  • Don’t use passwords that incorporate your name, telephone number, address, or birth date.
  • Choose a unique password for your PC Financial Mastercard® account and don’t use this password for anything else.
  • Use a quality antivirus program on your computer and use a firewall to protect your own internet connection.
  • Avoid using unsecured WIFI hotspots when accessing your PC Financial Mastercard® account.
  • Enable your mobile phone’s built-in password/lock protection.
  • Frequently check and install the most current version of your browser.

Protection as a cardholder

As a Mastercard® cardholder, you’re not liable for unauthorized transactions on your account as long as:

  • your account is in good standing,
  • you have exercised reasonable care in safeguarding your Card, PIN, passwords and your account information,
  • you have not reported two or more unauthorized events in the last twelve months,
  • no cardholder benefits from the transaction,
  • you report the unauthorized transaction to us as soon as you become aware of it, and no later than within 30 days from the date of the statement on which the transaction first appears, and
  • you co-operate fully with our investigation.

For more details, please refer to your Cardholder Agreement. The best defence against fraud is to prevent your card or account information from being compromised to the best of your ability.

Self-defence 101

Though credit cards are generally considered safer to use than cash and cheques, their spending power makes them a logical target for pickpockets, scam artists, and fraudsters. There are many safeguards to help protect you and your card.

Guard your card
Beyond the protection provided by your card issuer, there are some common-sense steps you can take to defend against card loss, card fraud, and unauthorized charges. Loss and theft usually occur in circumstances that can be avoided,so it’s best to learn to guard your card.

Never provide anyone with personal details that make you uncomfortable.

TIP: If you access your credit card information online, never tell anyone your password. Similarly, don’t allow others to see your PIN and don’t write it down – memorize it.

TIP: When you’re done with an old or replaced card, cut it into pieces including the chip and magnetic stripe immediately so others can’t use it. Don’t leave your credit cards lying around. As unfortunate as it may seem, credit cards are often stolen in the workplace. Places such as cars, restaurants, and hotels are also popular with thieves.

Report lost or stolen cards to us as soon as possible.
TIP: Most fraudulent purchases are made in the hours immediately after a theft.

Email from President’s Choice Financial

President’s Choice Financial will never ask you to respond via email to any requests for private or personal information, including passwords, PINs, or sign-in information. If you have any doubts about any other types of email or communications you receive from President’s Choice Financial, call us at the number found on the back of your card and we’ll be happy to verify whether the communication is legitimate. If you think you have been the target of an attempted email fraud, do not open any attachments and do not reply to the email. You may choose to forward it to us at pcmcfraudops@pcbank.ca, and then delete it immediately.

Defining fraud

What is fraud? In the credit card world, fraud is generally defined as any transaction that was not authorized by the cardholder or an authorized user. These transactions can occur in a number of different ways, as described below.

Fraud examples:

Lost or stolen card – You, the cardholder, are no longer in possession of your card after having lost the card at an unknown place or time, or after realizing that your card was stolen from your purse, wallet, home, office, etc. Fraud occurs when the lost or stolen card is subsequently used without your permission.

Non-receipt – You did not receive a new or replacement card that was sent to you by your credit card company. You may have no idea that the card went missing until you receive a statement listing transactions not made by you.

Fraudulent application – Your personal information is used by someone else to apply for a credit card in your name without your permission. Personal information may include your name, address, Social Insurance Number, and date of birth.

Counterfeit – You’re in possession of the card issued to you by your bank, but transactions appear on your account statement that were not made by you. This could be an indication that a counterfeit card bearing your account number is in circulation and is being used at the same time that you’re making legitimate purchases. This type of fraud is sometimes referred to as “skimming”.

Account takeover – You’re in possession of your card and somebody posing as you “takes over” your account by requesting a replacement card on the same account, usually to be mailed to a different address. You would not have any knowledge that this has been done until you receive an account statement showing transactions not made by you or you fail to receive your monthly account statement.

No card present – You’re in possession of your card and somebody has made transactions using the card number only, usually in the form of mail orders, phone orders, or Internet transactions. You may not know this has been done until you receive an account statement showing mail, phone, or online transactions not made by you.

Email/SMS/Phone Phishing – You receiving fraudulent e-mail or communications, also known as phishing or brand spoofing. Fraudulent communications generally ask customers to select a link or call a number, leading them to a fraudulent site that looks like a legitimate financial institution's web site — even duplicating logos and text. Customers are asked to enter account or personal information.

Identity Theft - When others use your information to attempt to obtain credit or access your account. Protect your personal information by shredding unwanted personal documents such as transaction records, credit applications, insurance forms, cheques, financial statements, and tax returns.

What to do if you suspect fraudulent activity on your account or have lost your card

Despite your best efforts, there’s still a chance that you could become a victim of credit card fraud. Save time and worry by following these steps:

  • Call us immediately. Depending on the situation, we may cancel your current card and issue you a new one.
  • Check to verify that your mailing address has not been changed.
  • Change your online password(s).
  • If you’re still in possession of your card but fraudulent purchases have been made on the account, call us to report the fraud and request a new card.

PC Financial Mastercard®:
Within Canada and the U.S., call toll-free: [1 866 246 PCMC (7262)]
Outside Canada and the U.S., call collect: [1 647 426 1343]

To report a compromise of your PERSONAL INFORMATION

PC Optimum points online security
We recognize that security is critically important to our customers. When you sign on to the PC Optimum website, your browser is validated to ensure that it meets our strict security requirements so your information is kept secure.

One way of knowing you are connected to a secure website is if the URL begins with https:// instead of http://. The PC Optimum points website always begins with https://. We also use browsers that support at least 128-bit encryption technology. This provides a high level of protection for transmitting confidential data over the Internet and prevents the risk of information being intercepted and read by a third party.

Tips for staying secure:

  • We strongly recommend that you download the latest version of your favourite web browser and stay updated.
  • While logged in to secure sites, do not leave your computer unattended.
  • Don’t allow your computer programs and browsers to save your password(s).
  • Choose unique passwords and avoid using the same password on different websites.
  • Use antivirus and anti-malware software on your computer.
  • Don’t send personal information (such as your account numbers, passwords, etc.) through email.
  • PC Financial Services Inc. will never ask you to respond via email to any requests for private or personal information, including passwords, personal information numbers, or sign-in information. If you have any doubts about any other types of email or communications you receive from the PC Optimum program, call us and we’ll be happy to verify whether the communication is real. If you think you have been the target of an attempted email fraud, do not open any attachments and do not reply to the email – delete it immediately.

What to do if your PC Financial card is lost or stolen:
Call us as soon as possible to report your card has been lost or stolen. If possible, have your card number handy so we can cancel the card immediately.

PC Financial Mastercard:
Within Canada and the U.S., call toll-free: 1 866 246 PCMC (7262)
Outside Canada and the U.S., call collect: 1 647 426 1343

Your lost or stolen PC Financial card will be cancelled immediately and a new one will be sent to you within five business days. Your PC Optimum points account associated with your lost or stolen card will be temporarily deactivated until you get your new card number. The points from your old card will be transferred to your new card within a couple of days.

Protect Yourself

There are various forms of computer viruses existing on the Internet today that are targeting online financial services. It is important for you to protect the privacy and security of your information by installing the appropriate programs on your personal computer.

Update your computer and software

  • Download and install security updates regularly or configure your operating system to automatically check for new updates.
    Windows: To download the latest Microsoft Windows updates, visit the Microsoft website.
  • MacOS X: Choose MacOS from the Apple menu to download the latest software.
  • Install up-to-date anti-virus software on your computer to help guard against computer virusesMacOS updates, visit the Apple website.
  • Install a personal firewall and disable file-sharing software to prevent unauthorized access to your computer and its data.
  • Keep your browsers up-to-date with current versions and security enhancements

PC Financial
Browse securely

  • When you are using public computers (for example, at libraries and Internet cafes), sign off after your online banking session, clear the browser cache, and close the browser before you leave the computer. For desktop browsers, to quickly open menus used to clear your cache, cookies, and history, ensure that the browser is open and selected, and press Ctrl-Shift-Delete (Windows) or Command-Shift-Delete (Mac). If this doesn't work, search your browser's Help menu for "clear cache".
  • Electronic forms which you submit online should be securely encrypted. If you're not sure if a web site is secure, look for the letters "https://" at the beginning of your web site address in your web browser. The "s" means that the web connection is secure.
  • Double-check the web address (URL) of your bank site before entering any confidential information (such as your bank card number and password).
  • Keep an eye out for fraudulent e-mail scams. These are designed to trick you into downloading a virus or jumping to a fake web site where you will disclose personal information.

Do not respond to unsolicited e-mails

  • We will never ask you to respond via e-mail to any requests for private or personal information including passwords, account numbers or sign in information.
  • Be cautious of e-mails that ask for personal information. If you are unsure of the authenticity of an e-mail do not reply - simply delete it.
  • Be cautious when selecting a link to an unknown web site or in an unfamiliar e-mail. The link may appear to be taking you to a reputable web site but may actually be taking you to a fraudulent web site.

Carefully select and manage your online user names and passwords

  • Make it difficult for others to guess your password by ensuring it contains letters and numbers. If you think someone knows one of your passwords, change all your passwords right away.
  • Memorize your passwords and PIN numbers, and do not disclose them to anyone. When entering your password or PIN at a bank machine or paying by credit or debit, position yourself to block others from observing you entering your information. Stay alert when you are using a bank machine by yourself.

Never conduct financial transactions on behalf of strangers

  • Be wary of any offer that sounds too good to refuse.
  • Be aware that cheques and other funds deposited into your account can be reversed long after the funds have cleared.
  • Never wire funds until the legitimacy of the cheque or electronic deposit is confirmed.
  • If you suspect a cheque may be fraudulent, contact the issuing bank and verify its authenticity. If you have already deposited the cheque into your bank account, call your bank immediately.

Protect your account and card information

  • Do not give your account or credit card information to anybody, whether in person, over the telephone, or online, unless you are confident that you are sure who you are dealing with. Do not carry your Social Insurance Number card in your wallet unless it is necessary.
  • Sign credit cards as soon as you receive them. Cancel inactive cards and don't lend your credit cards to anybody.
  • Shred or tear up junk mail and statements. If you don't want a pre-approved credit card offer, tear it up or shred it. Identity theft often occurs when thieves go through trash looking for these offers. As well, tear up or shred any personal information you are going to throw away, such as receipts that show your President's Choice Financial Mastercard card number or bank statements.
  • Arrange to have your salary deposited directly into your President's Choice Financial account so you can prevent lost or stolen cheques. You can also set up recurring transfers and payments through online banking so your obligations are met automatically.
  • Report thefts and losses immediately. If your wallet or purse is lost or stolen, contact us immediately at [1-866-246-7262] to block your PC Financial accounts.
  • Review all transactions on your account statement to ensure they are genuine. Report suspicious transactions immediately to President's Choice Financial services at [1-866-246-7262].
  • Review your credit report. At least once each year, contact a credit bureau to check the accuracy of your credit report.

Banking online is a great way to actively monitor your accounts. If you ever have a question about a transaction, remember we are here to help - just call us at [1-866-246-7262].

For further information, contact Phonebusters, Canada's national call centre for fraud, at [1-888-495-8501], or visit the Phonebusters web site.