Visa tests SMS alert service

Visa tests SMS alert service

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.

Comments: (3)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 22 July, 2009, 23:43Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

What a fantastic idea! Now I can expect to get an SMS that will say..

"Dear Cardholder, we are just letting you know that your card has been used in a way it was never designed for (a cardholder not present transaction) and because we are powerless to stop this type of fraud we are letting you know in real-time so you can worry about being ripped off straight away. We suggest you go to see your lawyer immediately".

More people GO with Visa. As they say in their adverts. 

Frank O Regan
Frank O Regan - DCR Strategies Inc. - Cork 27 July, 2009, 09:02Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

This is a not a new service in the industry, Bishoptown Credit Union a 25,000 member organisation has been doing this for its MasterCard users for the past 10 Months, it is probably one of the best anti-fraud measures any financial institution can have as it alows the card holder know immediatly of a unauthorised card transaction.

John Dring
John Dring - Intel Network Services - Swindon 27 July, 2009, 11:52Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It's far from a new idea.  I was talking to Visa about doing this back in 2002.  Back then the issue was integration and I guess the cost to them of implementing the service, which they couldn't expect to charge much for providing.

Just watch for the small print of 'signing up' to the service, because I wouldn't be too happy if it waives responsibility for resulting fraud if you failed to report within a short time of being sent an SMS alert!  That would be silly.

It's good and it's about time.  I'd pay a small amount to have this service.