One of the big questions surrounding the launch of Google's first Android phone was just how well supported it would be by third party application developers. If today's news is anything to go by, very well indeed should be the answer, as Visa have announced that they're about to launch a brand new mobile payment service on the Android platform.
The new service will alert you to any payments that have been made on your Visa card, ensuring you know exactly what's being spent on your card and when, which should be a great help in combating fraud. You'll also be able to see the locations of ATMs that support your Visa card within your local area, and receive offers from merchants that are redeemable in stores close by.
Visa are also launching a more advanced app for Nokia phones that lets you make payment using your Nokia 6212 Classic or future high-end Nokia phones. The reason you won't be able to do this with Android phones is because the Nokia phones employ Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology, which is a wireless technology that enables the transmission of data similar to the Oyster card used on the London Underground.
Android doesn't yet support NFC, at least on the initial Android device, the T-Mobile G1. However, the fact that Visa have developed their NFC-less applications for Android rather than the iPhone or Windows Mobile is a real boost for the new platform, and shows that plenty of big name companies have a lot of faith in Google's new platform.
Details fo the new Visa Mobile Services
Visa mobile services developed for the Android platform include:
Alerts: Consumers will receive near real-time notification of purchase activity based on customized cardholder preferences. The consumer will be able to personalize the types of alerts delivered to their mobile device according to pre-selected parameters, such as the size of the transaction, or whether the transaction is in foreign currency. Because these alerts are triggered by the transaction as it passes through the Visa network, consumers will receive notifications almost immediately, typically before they even leave the store. This adds a new layer of peace of mind when using Visa, and a new way to combat fraud.
Offers: Consumers will receive targeted offers from merchants directly to their phone. These offers - ranging from discounts to loyalty offers - could be based on a consumer's previous purchase activity. For consumers and merchants alike, this service will ensure the most relevant offers are sent in a timely manner, helping increase merchant traffic, loyalty and customer satisfaction.
Locator: The Locator service is expected to integrate with technology developed by Google, such as Google Maps and Google location-based services, to show consumers nearby locations of merchants sending them offers, or of an ATM that accepts Visa. The location would be called out on a map displayed on the mobile device screen.