Visa Europe has beefed up its mobile payments service with the addition of features which let customers send money from their phone to any Visa cardholder on the continent, in any currency.
Visa has been busy pushing its Personal Payments mobile service to Europe's banks, signing up 17 issuers so far, including RBS in the UK, where it has already gone live.
The service lets registered users send money through their bank's app to anyone with a Visa card simply by entering the recipient's mobile phone number. To collect the funds, users don't need to be signed up; they just need a Visa card, access to the Internet and to submit a few basic details.
The immediate payments feature, launching in the UK this week with other markets to follow later in the year, makes it possible for consumers to receive money sent via Visa Personal Payments in a matter of minutes.
The service is similar to Barclays' Pingit, which has proved popular since launching last February, with well over a million downloads. A UK industry-wide version, being built under the direction of the Payments Council, is also in the pipeline, set for a launch next year.
However, the Visa system is distinguished by its Europe-wide reach: by the end of the year, a multi-currency feature will be rolled out, enabling payments to be sent and received across borders, bringing international money transfers to mobile devices.
Sandra Alzetta, SVP, Visa Europe, says: "The new multi-currency and immediate payments features combine the convenience of mobile device use with the ability to send money to 460 million Visa cardholders across Europe, solving a problem that millions of consumers face every day - giving money to another individual easily and securely."