Visa’s Mobile App Comes to iPhone

Screenshot of Visa's mobile app

Visa wants you to save money...by spending more.

You didn’t expect credit card giant Visa to just sit by and watch all of these digital upstarts undermine its core business now did you? The company announced today that it is releasing an app called ‘Visa Mobile’. Okay… no big deal right? Wrong. The app will function as an offer system to pair up your purchase habits with businesses that offer discounts. Considering how much purchase history Visa undoubtedly has stored on all of us—debit card users included—it probably knows more about each of us better than Google does by now.

Besides just all the data Visa has collected, users can fine tune what offers the app displays by selecting categories that match their lifestyle. Whatever that means exactly is anyone’s guess but we’ll assume that it won’t give you offers you’ll never use. (Papa John’s Pizza discounts if you only eat at fine restaurants maybe?)

The app also brings location based services with it. Discounts at retailers can be mapped so you know where the heck the store offering it is located. Nearby ATM information is also included, but I’d stick with your own bank’s mobile app to avoid those annoying ATM charges that pile up.

Right now, the app mostly is only available for iOS but an Android OS version is in the works as well. The Android version is currently only working with certain Visa debit card holders located in the U.S. Visa developed the app with Montise, a mobile payment solutions company that it has also bought a stake in.

There you have it. The world of mobile payment is opening up everywhere. Eventually, only a few financial institutions and large Internet companies will have services like this so you can be sure that Visa will keep trying until it gets enough users to make this profitable. Of course, the beauty about credit and debit card issuers is that whenever you use their cards, they make money. Don’t expect Visa to go bankrupt anytime soon, even if NFC payment options eventually dominant in the U.S. Hear that Isis network?

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