From the part 1 of this 2 part series, I spoke about how an expired credit card can be charged and the amount transferred to the new credit card. And all this without card owner’s consent.

Read more [Part 1 of this article]

Our team spoke to some of the major banks to understand how the card is being used even if the new details were not shared.

Merchants have access to your new credit card information even if you do not provide it

All four of the major credit card companies American Express, Visa and Mastercard offer “updater” services to provide merchants with consumers’ new credit card numbers and expiration dates.


For many businesses, recurring monthly or yearly payments is their business model. When credit cards expire, they need to call and request the new information from customers and that is where it gets tricky. People do not respond to the request, do not answer calls or even some use this as an opportunity to re assess their subscription.

Without a recurring payment schedule, most of these business do not have a sustainable model. On the customer side, if a credit card is being used for business purposes, it is a great help to not have to update the details on every merchant currently being used. The service is welcome by many consumers especially business owners but can be quite a surprise if you are not aware of it.

What to watch out for

Given that many merchants use these services, UAE residents should make sure that they do not view an expired card as a cancelled card.

  • They cancel their subscription and not depend on the card expiry date to cancel the contract
  • Look at your credit card statement every month carefully
  • Keep track of all your comms with the merchant as some of them may make things very difficult when you want to leave

There is nowhere written that this practice is illegal and every merchant has different contracts. But how many of us have read the Terms and conditions of Netflix or Apple music before giving our credit card details?

Now that you are aware, watch out for those unwanted subscriptions !