Visa, in co-operation with eight other financial institutions, plans to test real-time transaction alerts over email and SMS to cut down on account fraud.

2,000 users will be part of the trial, which will allow them to find out within seconds when their account has been used.

Choice

Users can choose a number of options for alerts, including cash withdrawal, international use, internet or telephone use or if the transaction exceeds a certain amount.

Cardholders can verify the transaction amount by receiving the alert, or immediately contact their bank to stop any further transactions if they think there might have been any untoward activity.

Or it could just make you look popular down the pub when you use your phone to pay for a round that just clears the £5 limit.