Visa Inc. is getting closer to launching its new digital wallet whereby people can make purchases online without having to pull out their credit or debit card to finalize payment. Visa is also working on solutions for people to use their smartphones to pay for in-store purchases at retailers. Visa’s digital wallet is set to launch in the U.S. and Canada this fall and may be looking to expand the technology to other countries in the future.
Visa isn’t the only company focused on expanding mobile payments. Other credit card companies, including MasterCard Inc., American Express Co. and Discover Financial Services have all been active in the field of mobile payments in the U.S. and overseas where debit and credit card use is not as prevalent. (read more about American Express mobile payment options). Mobile payments have offered convenience to both vendors and consumers, in that it enables businesses to process credit cards that do not otherwise accept them. And through the popularity of smartphones and browsing capabilities, mobile payments are becoming more available, according to Visa’s head of global products, Jim McCarthy, in an interview with Reuters.
The Digital Wallet
Visa recently announced its partnership with several large U.S. and international banks for the creation of the VISA Digital Wallet, which uses near field communications (NFC) and other technologies. Its partners include Barclay Card US, BB&T Corp., Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC Bank, Regions Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, US Bank, TD Bank Group and Scotiabank. Customers of these banks will have a digital wallet which securely stores credit and debit card information so the information doesn’t have to be typed in for every online or in-store purchase. This will include information for both Visa cards and other cards.
Visa is hoping merchants will revamp their websites to enable customers to pay for purchases with simply the click of a button. That should help reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts on websites and expedite customer payments.