In its latest attempt to crack online and mobile payments, Visa has unveiled a system which lets virtual shoppers complete purchases with a couple of clicks.
The new feature is launching in the US, Canada and Australia, replacing the V.me digital wallet, which was introduced only two years ago. However, in Europe V.me survives.
Aping PayPal and Pay with Amazon, Visa Checkout will see retailers embed a button within their sites and apps so that customers can make payments without having to navigate away.
Customers register their Visa debit or credit card directly or through their bank and can then complete purchases by hitting the Visa Checkout button at participating retailers and entering their username and password.
Sam Shrauger, SVP, digital solutions, Visa, says: “People aren’t looking for another wallet – they just want a simpler way to pay online, particularly on mobile devices, and that’s exactly what we designed Visa Checkout to do.”
A host of retailers, including Neiman Marcus, Pizza Hut, Staples and United Airlines, are committed to the system, along with 180 financial institutions, including BofA, Citi and Wells Fargo.
“Visa Checkout simplifies online shopping – much the same way the original Visa card simplified shopping in person – allowing customers to securely speed through online checkout,” says Dominic Venturo, CIO, US Bank payments services.
While Visa Inc is ditching V.me, its cousin Visa Europe is committed to the wallet approach, confirming that it will expand the service to eight new counties over the next few months.
Wendy Martin, executive director, V.me by Visa, says: “We believe in a European wallet for our European customers. That’s why we’ve taken the decision to retain the V.me by Visa brand, along with its bank-centric approach.”
Already live in four countries, V.me will come to Germany, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Italy by the end of the year with pilots in Greece, the Czech Republic and Slovakia slated for 2015.
To help push V.me and other projects, Visa Europe has committed EUR200 million to support the development of its digital payment services.
Meanwhile, back in the US, Visa has opened an innovation centre in San Francisco that will house 500 staffers, including technology experts and developers “whose mission will be to ensure that every Internet connected device, appliance or wearable computer, can become a secure place for commerce”.