Have you ever had that sinking feeling? You reach for your wallet, and it’s not there. It’s not in your pocket. It’s not in your bag. And, it’s not in the car, or on the table, or in your coat. Then, you realise that you’ve lost your wallet; or worse, it was stolen.
You start to think about what was in your wallet, besides cash. Most likely, there’s your driver’s licence, ATM card, credit cards, rewards cards, and various other things you’ve collected along the way.
You are now faced with the time consuming task of cancelling cards and replacing them. And, if all of your money and cards are gone, what do you do for cash?
Usually, just because it’s far more inconvenient, these things tend to happen on weekends when bank branches are closed, and you have no chance of accessing emergency cash. Other than those loose coins in the bottom of your sock drawer, that is.
Plus, it gets better. If your bag is missing, chances are your phone, car keys, house keys and various other important items are gone as well. Perhaps even your passport, if you are travelling.
But rather than finding yourself trapped without a phone, cards, cash and being exposed to potential identity theft, there is a service that can help in these types of situations.
Many banks and card providers give access to a service offered by Secure Sentinel that helps people who find themselves in this stressful situation. Some rewards programs include the program automatically - for example, if you are a Gold Velocity member with Virgin Australia, you get automatic 12-month cover. And individuals or businesses can also access the service directly through Secure Sentinel.
How does Secure Sentinel work?
Basically, depending on the level of cover chosen, Secure Sentinel steps up and takes over in the event of a lost wallet, handbag or briefcase. Once you sign up for the service, register your cards, documents, phone and other items, you have access to the Secure Sentinel call centre if the worst happens.
Once you realise the item is missing, you call and everything swings into action. It’s a bit like insurance cover, but also with a customer service element that really helps out when you find yourself in this situation.
Some of the services offered under the base level of cover, which costs $61.95 a year (individual membership) or $145.95 (household), include:
cancelling of lost or stolen credit, debit and ATM cards
helping to arrange replacement credit, debit and ATM cards
placing a temporary block on a stolen or lost mobile phone
assisting with cancelling of a lost Australian passport.
Secure Sentinel also provides customers with additional services including:
global assistance to a 24x7 call centre for assistance
up to $10,000 insurance cover per year to assist with restoring your identity if you have been a victim of identity theft. This may be used for legal proceedings, to cover lost income if you need to spend some time restoring your identity, or for other expenses you may incur while restoring your identity
tags that can be attached to keys or travel luggage, so if they are found, they can be returned
registration of important documents and possessions, so that it’s safe and available when needed for insurance claims and police reports
an emergency cash advance loan of up to AU$1,000 that is available via Western Union. You must be more than 100km from home, and have lost all your available cash and cards to be eligible for this loan. The loan is usually available within 48 hours but must be repaid within 30 days.
So far, Secure Sentinel appears to be a unique service. Several Australian banks and many other rewards providers are partnering with the company to offer their customers a helping hand in this stressful situation.
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