Visa Europe is trialling a mobile phone-based notification service that sends customers a text message every time their card is used
Card holders will receive an update with the time, location and amount of each transaction to their phones. As well as SMS notifications, users can opt for e-mail alerts or download an application to smartphones.
Visa is currently trialling the real-time alert service with its staff in the UK and is "working closely" with member banks through which it will make the technology available to consumers.
The service will give cardholders constant control of payments and provide peace of mind, claims Visa, which plans to tweak it in the future to allow people to customise the format and content. This could enable users to instantly convert transactions into their home currency while abroad, making it easier to keep on top of budgets.
Sandra Alzetta, SVP, innovation and new product development, Visa Europe says: "With Visa's mobile alert service, we want to offer cardholders the reassurance of knowing, in real-time, exactly where and when their card is being used. If something looks suspicious, this will give them the power to put a stop to any fraud taking place on their cards."
In the US earlier this year Visa was hit with a lawsuit for allegedly infringing a patent covering the notification and authorisation of transactions via text message.