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Visa, Banks In Mobile Alert Pilot

Visa is launching a pilot program with eight banks in North America in which it will test a new mobile phone alert program. U.S. banks PNC Bank, SunTrust Bank, U.S. Bank, Wachovia, Wells Fargo and Canada's Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank Financial Group, and Vancity agreed to initiate the pilot with up to 2,000 participants to test the delivery of real-time notification alerts on Visa accounts.

The technology behind the alerts is based on Visa's transaction authorization system, which has the ability to analyze and conduct risk score transactions "in-flight," according to the company. The service allows Visa cardholders to set thresholds that will trigger a transaction alert. Alert types that cardholders may choose in the pilot include cash withdrawals from ATMs; transactions initiated cross border; Internet or phone transactions; and alerts when a transaction exceeds the limit set by the cardholder.

The alerts are received either via e-mail or SMS messaging and allow users to verify their transaction details and immediately contact their bank to stop further transactions on the card in the event something goes wrong.

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