Visa to Send SMS Alert on Credit Card Transactions
Visa and eight North American financial institutions – PNC Bank, SunTrust Bank, U.S. Bank, Wachovia, and Wells Fargo in the United States, and Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank Financial Group, and Vancity in Canada – have agreed to initiate a pilot program with up to a total of 2,000 participants to test the delivery of real-time notification alerts on Visa accounts.
The program, which is being conducted in cooperation with some of the largest North American issuers, is designed to enhance the consumer payment experience by alerting cardholders in real-time or near real-time of transaction activity on their Visa account – typically within seconds rather than hours or days. Participants will receive notification alerts from Visa through email or Short Message Service (SMS) delivered directly to their mobile devices. Alert types that Visa cardholders may choose in the pilot include:
- cash withdrawal from an ATM machine;
- a transaction initiated cross border;
- an Internet or telephone transaction and
- a transaction that exceeds an amount that has been chosen by the cardholder.
Through the alert received via email or SMS text, cardholders can verify the transaction details, and if the transaction appears to be irregular, can immediately contact their bank to help stop further transactions on the card. The service is designed to help cardholders keep closer track of their transactions and spending levels as they go about their daily routine.
Visa began testing mobile notifications in 2007, beginning with an internal employee pilot. Mobile alerts are part of a suite of mobile services that are supported by the Visa Mobile Platform, which was created to help financial institutions tap into mobile technology to deliver enhanced products and services.