As well as sealing the deal with Google over Google Wallet, Visa Europe has announced a Visa Mobile Person-to-Person Payments, a mobile payment service that lets you send money to other Visa cardholders from your phone.
This’ll be useful for sending that odd tenner that you owe to a friend, saving you from having to go to the wall to get it out (or keep forgetting to, in our case). You’ll be able to send money to mobile numbers, address book contacts, or if you’ve someone’s bank details to hand, directly to a card number.
Crucially, this will work on non-NFC enabled phones as well, as all of the requests will be sent over 3G.
Arriving first on Android phones, the service will be made available to customers of banks who issue Visa cards. Availability will be determined by each bank and this app won’t be available to download from the Android Market.
We spoke to Visa Europe about the possibility of this arriving on other platforms like iOS and Windows Phone 7; we were told to expect to hear something “over the next few months,” regarding other platforms.
As well as Person-to-Person Payments there’s a security feature called Visa Alerts, which sends real-time notifications to a person when their card has been used. The alerts, sent by text or email, serve as a way of letting you know when money has been withdrawn from a cash point or a card has been used in any way.
So as well as a measure to protect against fraud, it’s also potentially a good way to keep track of your own spending, if you’re not great at budgeting. On the other hand, this could get annoying, getting updated every time you spend 69p on an app.
Both of these services will be available to banks which use Visa services next month; expect more on these soon.