Visa Gives Consumers More Control over Spending; Launches Customizable Spend Management Tool

February 10, 2011 at 8:02 AM EST
New service builds on existing VisaNet platform capabilities to provide Visa account holders with real time information to control spending and monitor budgets.

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 10, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), the global payments technology company, today announced a powerful new service that allows financial institutions to give their customers wide-ranging insight into and control over their spending.

The service, powered by VisaNet, Visa's global processing network, provides Visa account holders with a mobile SMS text, email, and online spend management tool that allows them to set a "purchase threshold" for various accounts, monitor their spending in certain categories, and alerts them when their aggregate spending exceeds pre-set levels. Visa's service will be offered to account holders by participating financial institutions, and will let consumers manage spending on any Visa account, including credit, debit or prepaid.

"Consumers want to play an active part in managing their financial accounts," said Jim McCarthy, global head of products at Visa Inc. "This service builds on our 30-year investment in VisaNet and existing real-time transaction alerts platform; it empowers Visa account holders to customize the service, receive account information in real time, and better manage their spending."

How the Service Works

Visa account holders of participating financial institutions can elect to enroll in the service and choose which of their accounts they wish to activate for the service. For example, account holders who take full advantage of the service will have the option to:


  • Select spending categories they wish to manage, such as grocery, entertainment or restaurant spending
  • Set budget levels they want to assign to each spending category over a specified time period - daily, weekly or monthly
  • Chose how they would like to be notified when a threshold has been reached. Notifications can be delivered via SMS text messages or email

PNC Bank has been piloting the new services within its award-winning Virtual Wallet(R) product - an online money management tool developed in 2008 to help customers better manage their spending and saving in real time. This month, the bank also began offering select features of the Visa service to its retail customer base - both consumers and small businesses.

"Customers are constantly looking for tools that help them better manage their money, with mobile and text applications high on their list of priorities," said Thomas Kunz, senior vice president and director of payments and e-business at PNC. "The Visa service will provide our online banking customers with additional flexibility and control over their card spending."

With this new tool, Visa account holders can use the service to gain greater insights into their spending and better manage their account. For example, a consumer can choose to receive a notification via SMS text message when a transaction puts the total weekly spend for the account above a $500, or when total spending in the grocery category exceeds $300 for the month.

The development of this customizable tool was guided by Visa research that has shown cardholders want a wide range of options when it comes to managing their spending, and the greatest possible degree of flexibility, choice and control over their accounts. They also prefer receiving notifications when they are getting close to the budget they've set aside in order to avoid having a transaction automatically declined.

The service is also available to small business and commercial Visa accounts, enabling business owners to better manage expenses and ensure their employees are spending company funds appropriately and within budget.

About Visa Inc.

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks--VisaNet--that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Visa Inc.

Visa Inc.
Elvira Swanson, +1-415-932-2564
The PNC Financial Services Group
Tim Rice, +1-412-762-8033