Visa Transaction Alerts Now Available to Clients in North America

November 17, 2009 at 2:01 AM EST

Service Enables Issuers to Provide Greater Control and Peace of Mind to Visa Cardholders; Consumers Able to More Closely Monitor Accounts and Track Spending

SAN FRANCISCO & PARIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 17, 2009-- Visa (NYSE:V), the leading global payments technology company, today announced the North American rollout of transaction alerts, which allow issuers to provide near real-time1 alerts to Visa account holders throughout the U.S. and Canada. The service enables consumers to better manage and track their spending while providing them with an early warning system for potential fraudulent activities.

Alerts are sent on behalf of participating issuers directly from VisaNet, Visa’s global processing network, typically within seconds of a transaction occurring. Alerts are triggered when the transaction meets certain criteria the account holder has selected and are delivered directly to the account holder via email, SMS text message or the Visa Mobile application. Visa’s transaction alerts let consumers monitor their accounts for unusual activity and take immediate action if they believe a potentially fraudulent transaction is taking place.

“Visa is empowering cardholders to take an active role in managing and protecting their Visa account,” said Elizabeth Buse, head of product at Visa Inc. “Visa already delivers real-time transaction risk scores to financial institutions, and we are now providing cardholders with near real-time transaction alerts. Participating Visa cardholders can typically receive alerts before they walk out of the store, rather than hours or even days later.”

A recent study by Javelin Strategy & Research found that two out of three American consumers believe that financial alerts are useful and valuable, and that by 2014, 41% of online households – or 62 million – will receive financial alerts.2

“Americans hunger for alerts that give them confidence that their money is safe,” said Mark Schwanhausser, research analyst, multichannel financial services at Javelin Strategy & Research. “The best way to do that is by delivering real-time information that enables consumers to quickly analyze suspicious transactions and take action – no matter the time of day or where they are. Banks can build their customers’ confidence and earn their trust by serving up alerts that are timely, simple to set up and easy to manage.”

Alerts generated while transaction is “in flight”

The alert message sent to account holders contains the amount, time and date of the transaction, as well as information relating to the merchant, such as name and location. If the transaction appears to be irregular, the account holder can immediately contact their issuer to help stop further transactions on the account. Transaction alerts are designed to help reduce and mitigate fraud by making consumers aware of charges to their accounts in near real-time. By identifying potentially fraudulent transactions earlier, consumers and financial institutions can avoid financial losses.

Consumers will be able to subscribe to the service through their participating issuers and “opt in” to choose the kinds of transactions for which they wish to receive alerts. Criteria for transaction alerts that Visa cardholders may choose include:

  • Transactions that exceed the purchase threshold chosen by the cardholder
  • Transactions initiated internationally
  • Card-not-present transactions, such as purchases made online or by telephone
  • Cash withdrawals from an ATM machine
  • Declined transactions
  • Gasoline transactions

Cardholders embrace availability, increased protection

Over the last 12 months, Visa trialed transaction alerts with eight leading North American financial institutions and more than 2,000 participants. Results showed that consumer satisfaction increased dramatically with banks that offered account monitoring capabilities and fraud protection via mobile devices. Visa recently announced the launch of an enhanced Visa Mobile application with U.S. Bank following a successful mobile pilot program. The application, which is available to select U.S. Bank debit cardholders, can be downloaded to mobile devices and provides account holders real-time transaction alerts, even greater functionality and an expanded list of U.S. Bank offers.

About Visa Inc.: Visa Inc. operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world, and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 200 countries. For more information, visit

1 Subject to wireless carrier’s network coverage and other details

2 Source: 2009 Financial Alerts Forecast: Alerts Remain Highly Valued, But Consumer Adoption Slows Due to Inadequate, Limited Offerings, Javelin Strategy & Research, November 2009


Source: Visa Inc.

Visa Inc.
Elvira Swanson, 415-932-2564