Visa Launches Account Controls

Visa wants to make sure its cardholders are in charge of their own security.

That’s why Visa rolled out a new service, Visa Consumer Transaction Controls, aimed at enabling consumers to determine how, where and when their credit and debit accounts can be used. What that entails is giving those consumers real-time access and visibility of their account activity in order to ensure those customers can better protect themselves from any impending fraud or security issues.

Visa Consumer Transaction Controls can be offered through Visa card-issuing financial institutions, which can then enable account holders to have better control over their accounts via features such as spending controls, transaction alerts and the ability to quickly and simply turn accounts on or off.

“By putting the account holder in charge, Visa card issuers can provide their consumers peace of mind through innovative spending controls and more effective fraud prevention,” said Mark Nelsen, SVP of risk products and business intelligence for Visa. “With new digital commerce experiences emerging daily, it’s important that we provide easy and convenient ways for consumers to direct and monitor how their accounts are used and help better secure the payment system.”

Visa issuers also have the ability to tailor the offerings of the new service to customers based on their own individual needs. This means that consumers can tailor spending controls to various transaction types, date ranges and general card spending. Consumers can choose to get alerts via text, mobile app or email.

As Visa points out, only $0.06 of every $100 transacted on a Visa card is fraudulent, but its consumers who are tuned into transaction alerts see 40 percent less fraud than those account holders who do not use the option.

Features of the new service include:

  • Temporarily stop transaction approvals: At the touch of a button, the account holder can easily turn card authorizations on and off and take immediate action should their card become misplaced, lost or stolen.
  • Manage specific transaction types: Consumers can block or request alerts for selected activity, including purchases in store, online or internationally, as well as ATM withdrawals.
  • Set spending limits: Account holders can limit transaction size, set spending limits over a period of time or receive spending alerts based on transaction amount.
  • Manage multiple cards: Families or businesses can define individual controls or alerts for primary cards, as well as companion cards that are given to family members or employees, providing more real-time control and visibility into spending.

On the financial institution side, they can add these transaction controls using Visa’s API to integrate the service into their mobile banking apps. Visa APIs are available through the company’s recently launched Visa Developer platform, which enables financial institutions and partners to access and use Visa’s payment technologies, products and services.