Visa takes on PayPal with mobile payment platform

Visa has announced a mobile payment platform - Visa Mobile Person-to-Person payments - that sees the credit card giant taking on PayPal when it comes to quick and easy electronic payments.

The platform lets you instantly send your pals money you owe them, simply by entering their mobile phone number. As long as they own a Visa card, the payment can be accepted - there's no need for a separate account and they don't even need to be registered with the service.

Don't worry about security either - Visa has that all under control. It's stating that the service has the "same level of security that is the hallmark of all Visa transactions".

As well as its PayPal rival, Visa is also introducing Visa Alerts. This is a service that will notify registered Visa cardholders whenever their card has been used to make a purchase or to withdraw cash.

"The way we pay is changing, driven by the rapid uptake of new technologies and growing consumer demand for more flexible payments," said Peter Ayliffe, CEO of Visa Europe.

"Today’s announcement is the first in a series of new products and services that Visa Europe will be launching in the coming months to reflect the fundamental shift in consumer behaviour.

"We are already seeing early adoption of mobile payments, and in the coming months we will see the arrival of mainstream NFC technologies, advanced loyalty and e-commerce services, and ultimately, the launch of a new digital wallet."

The services are commercially available to Visa Europe’s member banks from next month but is dependent on their uptake before it is available to consumers.