Visa to offer credit card usage alerts

August 19, 2008 7:32:00 PM PDT
We are all more worried these days about credit card fraud and identity theft. So, how would you like to know every time your credit card is used? There's a pilot program working on that very possibility. Visa is trying out an early warning notification service.

Every time your card is used, you are alerted.

The notification comes by email or even text messages to your telephone. This could go a long way in slowing down identity theft and in store fraud.

"You get that alert in near real time. Because this service leverages Visa's state of the art authorization system. We are talking about that alert delivered in seconds, usually before you leave the store," says Pamela Zuercher, Visa.

The alerts can be programmed to only go out when you want them, so you can, for instance, set a dollar limit above a certain amount and you are notified. Parents handing their cards to college students could also keep track of every time the card is used.

Visa says this only a pilot program now, but look for your Visa provider to be offering the service in the not-so-distant future.