Visa’s PayPal-Like Wallet Gains Traction With Partners; Will Consumers Follow?

After signing up dozens of merchants and banks for its digital wallet platform over the past year, Visa is now seeking consumers.

Images of Money

Visa’s V.me service is similar to eBay’s PayPal and other e-wallet services under development by MasterCard and American Express. The consumer benefit for all of these is that checking out online or from a mobile phone will be easier because customers will only have to enter a username and password, which automatically populates dozens of fields, including credit card numbers and shipping addresses.

While V.me is operated by Visa, it is promising to be open, meaning that consumers can fund it using a variety of sources — including Visa, MasterCard, America Express and Discover cards.

Today, Visa is announcing the commercial launch of the service after unveiling V.me in beta a year ago.

In that time, it has signed up 23 online retailers, including Blue Nile, Buy.com, MovieTickets.com, 1-800-Flowers.com, Cooking.com and CozyBoots.com. And agreements have been secured with 50 of the top issuers and banks, including BB&T, CSCU, BBVA, U.S. Bank, dozens of credit unions and more.

Jennifer Schulz, Visa’s global head of e-commerce, said the company will be relying mostly on the banks to promote the digital wallet service. Some banks have committed to directing consumers to the V.me site, or to integrating the registration process directly on their own sites. Any consumer, regardless of whether their bank is participating, can sign up at V.me.

Visa still has a long way to go. It will reach 55 million consumers through the bank relationships, and it is working with only 25 of the top 250 Internet retailers, Schulz said.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus