The product enables shoppers to avoid entering their payment card information.
Katie Deatsch , Senior Editor
Visa Inc. has expanded the reach of its V.me digital wallet program, which enables consumers to avoid entering their credit card numbers on web sites.
The payment card network says more than 50 additional financial institutions are offering the digital wallet to their customers, which means that the product is available to around 55 million consumers.
Visa’s V.me digital wallet service, which debuted in beta in 2011 and officially launched earlier this year, enables online shoppers to store their account number, billing and shipping information with Visa and then enter their V.me username and password at online merchants who accept the service. By enabling account holders to tie Visa and other U.S.-issued payment cards to V.me and pay with the wallet from a PC, tablet or mobile phone, the payment card network aims to help assuage shoppers’ fears about online fraud.
23 e-retailers accept V.me including 1-800-Flowers.com, No. 51 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, Shoebuy.com, No. 90, Cooking.com, No. 169, Rakuten Buy.com, No. 36, and Blue Nile, No. 71.
“Whether you’re shopping for holiday gifts or shopping for yourself, V.me is now available to anyone in the U.S. looking for a more simple, secure and personal online shopping experience,” says Jennifer Schulz, global head of e-commerce for Visa. “V.me is built around a single concept, to help people shop online simply and securely.”
Visa competitor MasterCard launched its own mobile wallet this spring. MasterCard PayPass Wallet Services is a digital wallet, payment acceptance network and interface that banks, merchants, technology providers and consumers can tap, MasterCard says. At launch, Barnes & Noble, No. 32, and American Airlines accepted PayPass on their sites.
Digital wallets have long been touted to help reduce online payment fraud as they eliminate the need for consumers to enter their credit card numbers on web sites, which lessens the chance that criminals will be able to capture their card numbers.