Earlier today, we shared a look into the growth of U.S. consumer online shopping behavior during the holiday peak season (Nov. 1st – Dec. 16th). It’s no surprise that with the advent of tablets, mobile devices, the growing number of online merchants, and the widening adoption of new payment technologies, eCommerce remains Visa’s fastest growing commerce channel – and we don’t see that changing for a long time to come.
As eCommerce grows, consumers are looking for services that are designed to make online payments simple and secure, without all the hassles of entering bill-to, ship-to, and account information. Visa understands that, and is helping to usher in this next generation of commerce with a digital wallet service called V.me by Visa.
In the following video, Jim McCarthy, global head of product for Visa, provides his thoughts on how eCommerce has evolved since its inception and the tools Visa is developing to improve the online shopping experience, for everyone.
Hailing the recent commercial availability of V.me by Visa as “another milestone on the journey to digital cash” the Economist provides an overview of the major players and landscape in the digital wallet space in “War of the Virtual Wallets“, including perspective from Visa’s global head of eCommerce, Jennifer Schulz.
While noting that the competition in the virtual wallet space is white-hot, the article asserts that Visa is well-positioned as the battle intensifies. Some Visa-specific statistics noted in the article to support this prediction include:
*More than 2.3 billion Visa cards in circulation
*Over $8 billion in total Visa credit, debit and prepaid transactions processed in 2011
*Significant technology investments and acquisitions in developed markets, including V.me and Square
*Strategic investments in developing and emerging markets, including Monitise and Fundamo (a Visa company)
Historically, we’ve all been unpaid data entry clerks when it comes to online shopping, typing in account, bill-to and ship-to information nearly everywhere we shop online. Beginning today, that’s all about to change. Today’s consumer types in an average of 44 fields when shopping online, and V.me gets you down to 5 or 6 (depending on if you’re sending to yourself or a loved one).
Signing up for V.me through our bank partners and enrolling your Visa (or other U.S. issued payment cards) is simple. Before you can say “SALE!” you can start shopping online from any PC, tablet or mobile device.
Don’t see your bank on the list of partners Fear not! Visit www.V.me to enroll online, and start your holiday shopping immediately at any of the 23 participating merchants. PacSun and Blue Nile are just a few of the leading eCommerce sites using V.me, where you’ll enjoy a more simple, secure and personalized checkout experience.
You want to shop—and we want to make it easy for you to pay how you want (although we prefer Visa), when you want (no judging if you’re shopping in your pajamas at midnight) and with the safety and security that comes with the Visa brand.
Stay tuned for even more banks and merchants coming soon, and in the meantime, happy shopping.
I caught up with Mandy Lamb, Visa’s South African Country Manager, who was at the games cheering on several athletes representing her country, including Team Visa athletes, Paralympic swimmer Natalie Du Toit and BMX rider Sifiso Nhlapo. During our chat she shared her perspective on the future of payment technology in South Africa, including mobile and digital wallets and discussed key factors shaping the landscape for the payments in her country.
With a large number of unbanked individuals around the world, Mandy also spoke about how mobile technology has offered a new platform to deliver payments to individuals who never had prior banking relationships. Particularly, she talks about combining Visa’s local market focus with our leadership in innovation to offer solutions that are appropriate for both developed and emerging economies.
The concept of “digital wallets” has been in the news quite a bit lately. There are a number of wallet service offerings in the market today allowing consumers to shop more conveniently from their computers and mobile devices.
The opportunities for more convenient payments through a wallet service are endless – receive alerts about account activity and spending, store digital receipts and warranty information, and track and spend rewards or loyalty programs to name a few.
While Visa works to ensure emerging payments like digital wallet services use advanced security technology to protect consumers, it’s also important that consumers understand what they must do as users to protect themselves from fraud. That’s why Visa developed a series of best practices called Digital Wallet Security: Just “LOK” It.
Briefly stated, there are three letters to keep in mind in order to “L-O-K” access to your money and keep it safe:
Lock it down – Protect (physically and with passwords/passphrases) the devices you use to access your payment options: personal computers, mobile phones, tablets, etc.
Only you access sensitive information – Safeguard sensitive data, including user names, passwords, PINs, passphrases and answers to security questions.
Know who to call – Before anything happens, know who to call if your digital wallet were to be compromised.
Knowing how to better protect your digital wallet will give you greater peace of mind and help you get the most out of the coming revolution in mobile commerce. Take a few moments to review the Just “LOK” It information at www.VisaSecuritySense.com.
Visa’s mission is to become the best way to pay and be paid for everyone, everywhere. Our premise is simple: to deliver the security, simplicity, and personalization merchants, financial institutions and consumers demand as payments technology continues to evolve.
While there are many new players in the payments space, Visa is a trusted brand around the world for the security, reliability and convenience that come with Visa’s 50 years of experience creating one of the largest payments networks in the world – capable of processing up to 20,000 transaction messages per second. We think we do the hard part better than anyone else – and our reputation is proof of that.
V.me by Visa is our new service designed to take the friction out of commerce wherever consumers shop – online today, and soon via mobile device or at a retail store. Click a mouse, touch a mobile browser, or wave at the point of sale to access any major payment network account – V.me will deliver the simplicity and personalization promised by Internet and mobile payment technologies in ways consumers can trust.
Over the last several months, we’ve launched the V.me website, the V.me Developer Center and have internally tested the service with employees. We have now reached another milestone with the beta launch of V.me with our first online merchant as we move toward the commercialization of V.me in the United States.
In the U.S., V.me is now available in beta for consumer enrollment and online merchant checkout at Rakuten Buy.com, a leading retail marketplace with more than 18 million customers. The V.me acceptance mark is now visible on the Rakuten Buy.com login/checkout pages allowing consumers to enroll Visa and non-Visa accounts in V.me and make online payments with a simple username and password through the merchant’s website. Users can also set personalized alerts to receive near-real-time notification of transactions on enrolled Visa accounts.
While our focus is currently on the U.S., we are also working on plans for how to scale V.me in additional countries around the globe to ensure that the V.me experience meets Visa’s standards for security, convenience and reliability as it becomes more broadly available.
In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be adding more top eCommerce merchants that will accept V.me. Rakuten Buy.com is the first of a group of merchants that will trial enrollment and online capabilities for V.me as we focus on building acceptance among the top eCommerce retailers. This will ensure that consumers who sign up will be able to use V.me at their favorite places to shop.
Regardless of where a consumer signs up, their information is entered and stored on Visa’s secure servers; they can add Visa and non-Visa accounts from any issuer; and use V.me at any merchant that accepts V.me.
We’re excited about the role V.me will play to strengthen the entire commerce ecosystem, making it easier for consumers, merchants and financial institutions to do business with one another.
Six months ago, we announced our global innovation strategy to deliver the next generation of payments. Today, we’re introducing two important building blocks in that effort: opening Visa to developers via the Visa Developer Center – including the introduction of the V.me by Visa digital wallet brand and global acceptance mark – and the new Visa Mobile Prepaid product designed specifically for consumers in developing countries. These milestones reinforce Visa’s ongoing efforts to give consumers more places and ways to pay and be paid, as well as provide financially excluded consumers with secure and reliable financial services.
Embracing the Developer Community
With the Visa Developer Center, we’re standing behind our belief that some of the most innovative ideas for the future of payments will come from leading-edge software developers. We’re arming the developer community with the tools to build person-to-person payment capabilities, domestic and international remittances, and other applications by providing access to Visa tools, API’s, documentation, and code. Visa is also improving access to the separate developer resources of CyberSource, Authorize.Net, PlaySpan, and the new V.me digital wallet. We’re excited about the future innovations 3rd party developers may conceive through the Visa platform, and look forward to payment applications not yet imagined today.
Our First Joint Visa and Fundamo Product
After acquiring Fundamo just over five months ago, Visa is introducing its first jointly developed product: the Visa Mobile Prepaid product. The new product, a Visa prepaid account that can be accessed through a simple menu on a mobile phone, enables consumers in developing countries to send and receive funds, make purchases online or at merchants where Visa is accepted, and withdraw money at ATMs. It brings Visa’s high standards for security, reliability and interoperability to consumers who have lacked access to formal financial services. The product is the result of a new mobile money platform that connects financial institutions and mobile network operators with VisaNet.
Stay tuned for additional progress in the weeks and months ahead.
I’m excited to share that today Visa is introducing V.me by Visa, the brand for the digital wallet and new click to buy acceptance mark we announced in May. V.me will be a secure way for consumers to pay online as well as in person with a PC, tablet, or mobile device using Visa and non-Visa accounts.
We are working with our financial institution clients and merchants on their participation in V.me and have launched an invitation-only beta of V.me capabilities in the US and Canada, so that we can introduce consumer enrollment and payments in early 2012.
We also know developers will play an important role in accelerating adoption of and support for innovative applications using V.me, so one of our first steps in rolling out V.me is today’s launch of an open beta developer program designed initially for online payment applications. The first V.me developer tools can be accessed through Visa’s new Visa Developer Center or at www.V.me.
V.me supports the evolving ways and places people transact. It is different than other offerings because it is not online or point-of-sale. It is online and point-of-sale. Wherever and however people shop, they can take V.me with them – just like consumers have one physical wallet, they will be able to have one digital wallet. And of course, it will provide features beyond payments such as transaction alerts and the ability to receive personalized offers. First up: a streamlined online checkout, so consumers can click to buy with the new V.me acceptance mark instead of entering their account information and shipping addresses every time they want to shop from their smart phone, tablet or computer.
We are taking important steps toward delivering a digital wallet that meets Visa’s standards for a payments experience that is convenient, secure and reliable. Visa is building on a fifty year tradition as we look ahead to the next generation of payments.
As you may have read, today Visa and Isis, the mobile commerce joint venture between AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, announced that they have entered into an agreement that will permit consumers who use the Isis mobile wallet to pay for goods and services with Visa credit, debit and prepaid accounts. By making Visa products available in the Isis mobile wallet, Visa expects consumers will be able to use their existing Visa accounts on mobile devices.
Last month, Visa announced its strategy to provide the next generation of payments solutions for any stage economy. At the time, we shared our plans for a sophisticated digital wallet that will first be available in the U.S. and Canada. And today, we’re announcing two investments that help us accelerate the strategy reaching other consumers around the world.
Today, Visa announced the acquisition of Fundamo and a new agreement with Monitise. Both companies play important roles in extending electronic payments and services via mobile devices. Taken together, they accelerate Visa’s ability to bring financial services to banked and unbanked consumers worldwide. This means that consumers – across the full spectrum of uses, geographies and mobile environments – can access basic financial services on a simple handset or more advanced services on a smart phone.
Fundamo brings a platform for Visa to deliver mobile financial services for unbanked and underbanked consumers in developing markets. Fundamo is already delivering services like person-to-person payments, airtime popup, and bill payment in more than 40 countries – with Visa, these services can integrate with VisaNet, adding interoperability and utility with the potential to connect billions of people to each other and to the global economy.
And through our extended relationship with Monitise, we will expand delivery of mobile financial services to Visa banked account holders — enabling electronic payments on the go for those who are more likely to transact on a mobile device than in person.
These are two ways we are enabling consumers around the world to transact wherever, whenever they choose and in ways that meet their lifestyles – whether using a card, a computer, or a mobile device.
We know that different parts of the world have different needs. We know that delivering access to financial services on a mobile device is critical, as well as complicated. And, at Visa, we’re only willing to do it in a way that replicates the security, reliability and convenience synonymous with using a Visa card at a retail store.
To see this vision in action, please check out this video .