Government // Mobile & Wireless
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12/16/2008
08:23 PM
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Visa Releases Banking Android App

The application lets G1 users get account alerts and discount offers, and it has integration with Google Maps to find nearby stores and ATMs.

Your T-Mobile G1 can now be used to help keep track of your holiday spending, as Visa has released its first application for the Android operating system.

The application lets Chase Visa cardholders receive notifications about account activity, receive offers from various merchants, and use Google's mapping technology to find nearby stores or ATMs that accept Visa. The app can be downloaded now from the Android Market.

"Combining technologies from innovative companies like Visa, Google, and other members of the Open Handset Alliance delivers consumers convenience and value in their everyday mobile lives," said Tim Attinger, head of global product innovation at Visa, in a statement.

The app will let users get near real-time alerts about account activity, such as when transactions are made exceeding a certain limit. Visa said this service could potentially help combat card fraud. Users can also get discount and coupons from the like of eMusic.com, Overstock.com, Lenovo, and other retailers. Visa said users won't be spammed with offers, but it will tailor the offers based on the user's billing history.

One of the most appealing features of the Android-powered G1 is the tight integration with Google's services, and the Visa app takes advantage of that. The locator service uses Google Maps to highlight the location of nearby stores and ATMs that accept Visa.

The mobile space plays a large role in Visa's future plans, and the credit card company has launched or piloted mobile banking and mobile payment programs across the globe. The company is also teaming with Nokia to bring a handset to the U.S. market that is capable of contactless payment.

Rival MasterCard also is making strides in the mobile space, and it offers a plethora of mobile banking, payment, and discount programs. The company hasn't committed to the Android platform, but it's almost a given that it will develop for the platform if it gains traction in the market.

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