Like many stakeholders in the payments ecosystem, Visa is just one of the major card brands broadening their product line to capitalize on the movements to online and mobile and expand their engagement opportunities with both merchants and consumers. In November 2012, with the support of over 50 financial institutions and more than 20 merchant partners including 1-800-Flowers.com, PacSun, Shoebuy.com and Buy.com, Visa introduced its v.Me digital wallet to the U.S.
For consumers, v.Me offers the ability to store any card, from any brand (Amex, Visa, MasterCard and Discover), through one service, or digital wallet. Currently limited to online purchases only, users – when offered v.Me as a checkout option – simply sign in with their email and password and confirm their purchase details. And, they earn and enjoy all of the same rewards as making a purchase with a physical card. It’s convenient, secure and easy.
Visa has noted future plans to expand the v.Me wallet with the introduction of a mobile payments element, leveraging near field communication (NFC), QR codes and ‘other technology’, but timing is still unclear. A v.Me mobile wallet would allow users the ability to tap (NFC) or scan (QR) their phone or potentially another interaction, to purchase for goods in the offline world. Visa is also planning on incorporating location-based offers service with V.me in time, which will likely use geotagging services to identify customers most visited locations and deliver personalized, relevant offers.