Mobile

PinPoint protects purchases based on your phone's location

Your phone knows where you are. Why not your bank? Two startups are working in tandem to make that possible.

Finsphere, a company based near Seattle, makes identity-theft protection software and recently announced the launch of PinPoint, an application that helps match credit- or debit-card purchases with a consumer’s cellphone location to help prevent fraud.

PinPoint uses Finsphere’s Mobile Identity Protection (MIP) technology to flag “high risk” transactions. Part of the flagging process requires matching the consumer’s cell phone location with the location of the purchase. The company’s service team then works to resolve the problem by first texting or emailing the user to determine if the purchase is legit.

PinPoint leverages a service offered by Location Labs, a company that helps developers implement location-based services in mobile applications. Its Universal Location Service has an application programming interface that recently gained access to over 250 million consumers from all major cell phone carriers, like Verizon, who have opted in to having their location tracked.

Location Labs has been everywhere lately. The company recently teamed up with location-based ad company Placecast to launch ShopAlerts, which are location-triggered text messages sent from brands to consumers who opt into the service. The company also partnered with CityGrid Media, a subsidiary of Web giant   IAC and supplier of local content and advertising to other sites. The partnership will give Location Labs access to information on more than 15 million local businesses.

Location Labs also is dabbling in creating its own location-based apps. Most recently, the company created Mayor Maker, giving iPhone users the opportunity to automatically check-in to as well as check-out of locations using Foursquare. The application is currently available on iTunes.

Location Labs, a San Francisco-based company, has raised $26 million from venture-capital investors, including Draper Fisher Jurvetson, BlueRun Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures and Intel Capital.

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