Even if you’ve never heard of GE Money, there’s a good chance the company is in your wallet.
GE Money is huge – bigger than a lot of banks. They handle the back-end credit card operations for a lot of retail chains such as Low’s, Amazon, Toys R Us, Chevron, Texaco, PayPal, and Wal Mart in the U.S. to name just a few.
With the heat, media attention and privacy concerns, GE Money recently added one of those little addendums to your account terms in your statement. They’re not alone, but theirs in one that was given to me. The new disclosure states that they may use external service providers. In other words: They can outsource. This outsourcing will “process information on computers located outside of Canada, including the United States, Mexico, India, and the Philippines, whose data protection laws may differ from those in Canada.” You think?! Then they go on to explain what that means to you and your credit card information, which may be subject to access requests from governments, courts, etc. according to THEIR laws.
In other words, it’s the privacy laws of those countries – if they have any, and not those of Canada. This little insert – all inserts – are valid to change the terms and conditions of your credit card agreement. If you use the card after the notice, you’re agreeing to be bound by the new terms and have given your consent.
If you see one from the big banks, care enough to share and send me an e mail. You have to know that the big banks need the protection of this clause just as much as GE Money.