Visa is heading on to Google’s Android platform. Watch out!

It’s all getting very, very interesting in the mobile industry of late.

I’m looking at every single handset that’s released and thinking ‘oh, that’d be good with Android’. Now that you can configure your own mobile experience — albeit in limited form with the T-Mobile G1 — the other handsets are shortly going to look hugely, hugely tame from the viewpoint of an increasingly mobile savvy buying public.

I did a second take the other day when I was watching live television (a rare thing nowadays) and found an advert from Apple, showing off the iPhone — but focusing on the fact you can augment your iPhone experience buy purchasing applications. Fantastic.

But the fact you can now get Visa on your Android handset… that’s going to get a lot of alarm bells ringing across the planet. Visa’s moving. You want to get your arse in gear.

There’s a heck of a lot of interested parties who’ve all been doing the business equivalent of sticking their heads in the sand and waiting for ‘something’ to happen with mobile and transactions.

Kudos to Visa for taking a leap.

So reports the American Banker. (Thanks to the industry heavyweight who forwarded me the article)

The Visa for Android application is, at the moment, simply just a view into your Visa account:

Visa Mobile for Android provides three services to the handset, she said: alerts and notifications sent by Visa, marketing offers from its merchant partners, and an integrated locator function that links a phone’s GPS system with the Google Maps service.

Right now the service is exclusive to those banking with US institution, JP Morgan Chase. So if you’ve got an Android device AND you bank with JPMorgan, check it out and tell me what you think?

A tiny step, perhaps. But:

Visa expects consumers to eventually use their phones to store information about multiple card accounts and to initiate transactions at the point of sale or online.

Definitely. Most definitely. It’s fooking annoying having to phone up to check your balance. Entirely 100% inefficient. It’s even worse having to wait to get a sodding paper statement.

I really like the idea of buying a television and .. woosh.. during the transaction, getting a little pop-up on my phone thus:

The alerts are sent to users’ phones after a transaction almost immediately, Ms. Zuercher said. “Because this runs off our authorization system, these notifications can appear on your handset in near real time, practically before you walk away from the point of sale.”

What’s next? Swiping your handset at the point of sale perhaps?

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

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