Visa To Bring Apps To Google's Android

Visa will enable Android users to get near-real-time alerts on card activity, as well as get discounts and directions to merchants.
Visa this week announced it will develop financial service applications for Google's Android platform.

The application will let Chase Visa cardholders receive notifications on their Android-powered phones about transaction activities on their account, get discount offers from merchants, and use the built-in location-based technology to find nearby ATMs or stores.

The company said the applications will be available by the end of the year and will eventually be offered to other types of Visa accounts. Additionally, the company is working on an Android app that will enable mobile payment in retail locations or over wireless networks.

The announcement comes a few days after T-Mobile, Google, and HTC unveiled the first Android-powered handset, the G1. Part of the appeal of the G1 and the Android platform is the amount of mobile apps expected to populate the Android Market.

"Through this effort, U.S. consumers will, for the first time, be able to download Visa mobile service applications directly to their handsets," said Elizabeth Buse, Visa's global head of products, in a statement.

Meantime, Visa rival MasterCard said it is continuing to do its due diligence around the latest mobile device innovations.

Simon Pugh, head of MasterCard's global mobile payment strategy, said because Android's an open platform, particular attention to security would have to be paid for any financial service app created.

"The way to make mobile payment compelling is to make it on a wide array of different platforms, including Android, iPhone, Java, Brew and more," Pugh said. "Asking customers to switch their phones or subscriptions is a real challenge, and we're aiming to offer our services on the broadest array of technologies as possible."

This article was edited on 9/26 to clarify statements made by MasterCard.