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Wells Fargo, Visa Offer Text Alerts to Cardholders

Text-alert service to help credit cardholders manage their budgets and identify fraud.

Recent surveys have shown that Generation Y (18 to 30-year-olds) would like to receive text alerts to notify them when they're overspending. In sync with that preference, Wells Fargo ($1.2 trillion in assets) and Visa today announced the rollout of Rapid Alerts for Wells Fargo Visa credit cardholders. The free service is intended to help consumers manage and track their spending while providing them with near real-time detection of potentially fraudulent activity.

Rapid Alerts by Wells Fargo are enabled by Visa's transaction alerts platform. Alerts are sent on behalf of Wells Fargo directly from VisaNet, Visa's global processing network, allegedly within seconds of a transaction occurring. Rapid Alerts are triggered when the transaction meets certain criteria previously selected by the Wells Fargo Visa account holder and delivered via text message or e-mail. Rapid Alerts let consumers monitor their Wells Fargo Visa credit card account activity and take immediate action if they believe a potentially fraudulent transaction is taking place.

"We believe Rapid Alerts will give customers added peace of mind that they will be notified almost immediately when transactions occur," said Peter Ho, product manager for Wells Fargo Card Services and Consumer Lending, in a statement. "We piloted Rapid Alerts in 2009 and received an overwhelming positive response from participants who said text alerts were an invaluable tool for monitoring their accounts. We want to help our customers succeed financially, and this is just one more tool to help them get there."

Rapid Alert messages contain the amount, time and date of the transaction, as well as currency conversion and information relating to the merchant, such as name and location. Rapid Alert messages help customers track their spending and better manage their finances. Customers also will be alerted to Wells Fargo Visa credit card payments that are declined, which may also help remind customers of recurring payments that they forgot to update due to a reissued, lost or stolen card.

Wells Fargo credit card customers will be able to choose the kinds of transactions for which they wish to receive alerts. Criteria for transaction alerts that cardholders may choose include transactions that exceed a dollar amount chosen by the cardholder; transactions initiated internationally; card-not-present transactions, such as purchases made online or by telephone; cash withdrawals from an ATM machine; declined transactions; and gasoline transactions.

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