Visa today put a stake in the ground to be viewed as the innovation leader, a position that American Express has claimed for some time with its chip cards, social media efforts, and even an online lab site. At today’s “innovation briefing” in NYC, Visa announced several pilots and upcoming initiatives.
Mobile person-to-person transfers
The most far-reaching announcement was the ability for Visa cardholders to transfer funds from one card to another via mobile device. So far, just one bank is participating in the pilot. US Bank says it will make the service available to a few thousand cardholders as a test later this year. PaymentsNews has more details here.
It sounds good, but as always the devil is in the details. For instance:
- Through what hoops will cardholders have to jump to enable their card and phone for the service?
- Will the transfers be treated as cash advances triggering fees and finance charges?
- Will it be available to all cardholders using any mobile phones?
Visa jumps on the android bandwagon
A more immediate innovation is a location-and-alert-based service built for Google’s android platform, a new mobile system launching in late October. Visa’s new service, to be rolled out initially by Chase Bank (no time frame given), promises some important new developments:
- “Near real-time” purchase alerts (see note 1) so you can see immediately whether your server added an extra digit in front of your tip on that bar tab. The real-time alert pilot was announced a month ago (here) involving several thousand accounts at PNC Bank, SunTrust Bank, US Bank, Wachovia, Wells Fargo, Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank, and Vancity.
- Visa merchant finder based on your location-based/GPS technology (nice!) with targeted marketing offers (hmmm??). The merchant locations will be integrated with Google Maps.
Again, PaymentsNews has the entire press release here.
1. Visa says that the alerts will arrive “typically before (the consumer) leaves the store.”
2. For more information, see our Online Banking Report on Mobile Money & Payments.