Visa Pilots Mobile Banking Program

The test program will let cardholders get near real-time alerts of transactions via text message or mobile e-mail.

Marin Perez, Contributor

August 19, 2008

1 Min Read

Credit card company Visa and eight banks are launching a pilot program that's designed make it easier for cardholders keep track of their spending with their mobile phones.

Testers will be able to sign up for notifications on their cell phones via SMS or mobile e-mail regarding any transactions on their Visa accounts.

"Information is power, especially when delivered in a timely manner," said Elizabeth Buse, global head of product at Visa, in a statement. "Visa already delivers real-time transaction risk scores to financial institutions, and we are now empowering cardholders in this pilot with real-time transaction alerts. Participating Visa cardholders can typically receive alerts before they walk out of the store, rather than hour or even days later."

The service will use Visa's transaction authorization system to analyze activities in near real-time. Additionally, users will be able to set thresholds that will trigger an alert. For example, a user could receive alerts on their mobile phones any time a transaction is initiated across a border, or whenever the account is used for an Internet purchase.

The pilot program will have up to 2,000 participants, and the financial institutions include PNC Bank, SunTrust Bank, U.S. Bank, Wachovia, Wells Fargo, Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank Financial Group, and Vancity.

The alert notification program is Visa's latest foray into the mobile space. The company's strategy toward the mobile platform include using the phone as a contactless way to make payments, allowing users to electronically transfer money from mobile devices, mobile e-commerce, as well as delivery of coupons and rewards to the handset.

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