Visa Europe has announced that its much delayed digital wallet service, V.me, will launch in Autumn 2012 in the UK, Spain and France.
The company announced today that payments processor WorldPay will be a key development partner for the UK launch.
The company announced that further developments and launch partners will soon be announced in each market, including banks and retailers.
Visa says that e-commerce currently represents 22% of its transactions, and grew 44% between 2009 and 2011.
The announcement comes after O2 launched its digital wallet last week – leapfrogging past all its competitors in the banking, telcos and Google’s own high profile offering. Visa assisted with the development of the app.
V.me was originally announced in November last year, with a launch date of ‘early 2012’. Like most digital wallets, delays for testing and security have been a problem.
"V.me sits at the heart of Visa’s future of payments. For the first time, consumers and retailers will have a streamlined online checkout experience through an acceptance mark that offers industry-leading security and, when a Visa card is used in a V.me wallet, the same protection and rights that come with any Visa card transaction," said Mariano Dima, Executive Vice President of Product and Marketing Solutions at Visa Europe.
Other than slight increases in convenience (smaller pin numbers and one click shopping, for example) these virtual wallets appear to be waiting for the launch of NFC, both with handsets and Point of Sale terminals, which will allow mobile phones to pay for goods outside the web-based retail world by tapping them against readers. The burden of set up doesn’t appear to have much pay off currently.
Visa’s service will be made available through its member banks. The wallet will be accessed through an internet browser on a PC, tablet or smartphone – which is a bit different from the smartphone-centric wallets from O2 and Google, which mostly operate as smartphone ‘apps’.
"Our intention is that V.me will ultimately be able to incorporate any or all of our new payment technologies, allowing our members to deliver the best possible payments experience whether face-to-face, online or in a mobile environment. This comprehensive service suite, delivered under the V.me umbrella, will offer an easy way to benefit from the scale, security and reliability of Visa," said Dima.
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