Visa starts real-time mobile transaction alerts in US

Visa has bitten the security bullet and announced agreements with eight North American financial institutions to launch a pilot program testing delivery of real-time transaction notification alerts via text messaging and email.

The card issuer has teamed up with PNC Bank, SunTrust Bank, US Bank, Wachovia and Wells Fargo in the United States, as well as Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank Financial Group and Vancity in Canada to conduct the trial.

Plans call for cardholder participants to receive real-time mobile alerts in the event of transaction activity on their Visa accounts, using data from Visa's transaction authorisation system, which analyses and conducts risk score transactions in real time.

According to Visa, the plan is for cardholders to establish the thresholds that trigger transaction alerts, and upon receiving notification they can immediately contact their bank to halt further transactions on the card if something appears odd...