Visa is getting into the personal payments game and will soon allow Visa account holders to send and receive funds directly to or from other Visa account holders. The company announced on Wednesday that it had made enhancements to VisaNet (Visa's payment processing network) in order to enable new transactions between customers, adding that it also struck deals with CashEdge and Fiserv to integrate the new service into their respective platforms.
From the sound of it, Visa's new system will require some involvement from your financial institution before you can send or receive funds. Customers who do frequent a participating bank will be able to enter someone's 16-digit Visa account number, phone number, or e-mail address in order to send the funds directly to that account. Visa notes that financial institutions outside the US can already do this (once again reminding us why banking in the US is so awesome—not), but that this will be the "first time a major payment network has introduced a global requirement for account issuers to accept incoming funds and thus enable a new generation of personal payment services."