The service provides Visa account holders with a mobile SMS text, e-mail, 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. Offered to account holders by participating financial institutions, the service 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," says 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 customise the service, receive account information in real time, and better manage their spending."
PNC Bank has been piloting the new services within its Virtual Wallet 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.
Thomas Kunz, senior vice president and director of payments and e-business at PNC, says: "The Visa service will provide our online banking customers with additional flexibility and control over their card spending."
Visa is playing catch-up with rivals MasterCard and American Express, which both launched similar money management services in October 2009.