Visa Europe has announced it has begun a trial of a new mobile service giving cardholders "instant transaction confirmation to their mobiles when they use their debit, credit, or prepaid card." The theory is solid: it provides increased peace of mind when shopping, on a night out, or on holiday by instantly sending the time, location and amount of each transaction to the consumer's handset. Consumers can choose whether they want the alert delivered by SMS or email.
"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," said Visa Europe Senior VP of innovation and new product development (long title, cool job) Sandra Alzetta. "If something looks suspicious, this will give them the power to put a stop to any fraud taking place on their cards."
The new system is currently being trialled by Visa UK employees in-house and it is "working closely with member banks through which it will make the technology available to consumers." Future aims are to make the alert formats and contents customisable to individual customer needs such as an instant conversion into the user's home currency while abroad.
It's all highly sensible and if banks widely adopt this it may make me hate them a little less. A little less...