Visa announced on 12 February 2015 that it is introducing a new mobile service which is designed to reduce unnecessary purchase declines that are triggered when customers travel outside their home area. Using geo-location data gained by matching the location of the cardholder through a mobile device, such as a mobile phone, the Visa Mobile Location Confirmation service aims to more reliably predict whether the payer is a genuine account holder.

Mark Nelsen, Senior Vice President of Risk Products and Business Intelligence, Visa Inc., commented that the new service would enable banks to feel more confident about authorising a transaction that might otherwise have been declined due to suspicion of fraud.

The service will be offered to customers as an optional extra through participating financial institutions’ mobile banking applications. After downloading, the account holder’s device location will be checked against the transaction position at the point of sale. If there is a match, the issuing financial institution can more confidently approve the transaction.

What this means for you

The new location service will be available to U.S. card-issuing financial institutions in April 2015. The aim is to improve customer payment experiences when travelling by reducing the number of unnecessary purchase declines. Financial institutions also stand to gain from a reduction in the number of pre-travel requests and the need to manage declined transactions.