Visa is launching a beta test of its digital wallet, branded as V.me, with online retailer Buy.com. The PayPal-esque payments system is supported by the credit card brand's new Visa Developer Center that aims to help developers in various fields from gaming, financial, e-commerce and mobile integrate V.me into their products for in-app purchases, currency or direct links to e-commerce check-out pages.
V.me is offering convenience and "next generation commerce" to Buy.com’s 18 million customers who enter their credit card information once, where it’s stored with Visa, and then create an account with Visa, American Express, MasterCard or Discover. Users will receive alerts and near-real-time transaction notification of transactions on their Visa accounts and personalized offers will be coming soon.
With the NFC component, Visa is squaring off against Google Wallet and Isis, as well as MasterCard’s PayPass Wallet Services and Serve by American Express.
“This battle is starting to heat up but don’t expect this year to be decisive. There is still so much education and development that needs to happen and most consumers and merchants don’t have a clue as to which wallet they will want to use,” notes GigaOm.
“Visa has the advantage of being the biggest credit card network and that trust will surely give it a boost in the new digital wallet wars. But there’s so much more game to be played, it’s still too early to say who will prevail.”
Visa Europe announced last month that V.me will be rolling out in the U.K., France and Spain this later this year. Visa is already making a splash in Europe as the exclusive payment services sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, where fans are invited to ‘cheer’ their favorite athletes as seen in the brand’s Go World campaign.
The multi-tiered, sepia-toned campaign focuses on dramatic, historical Olympic Games’ moments and with 60 Team Visa sponsored athletes, fans are encouraged to support their choices via Visa’s Facebook page and app, and on its YouTube channel. Fan ‘cheers’ from the U.S. submitted between May 7 and June 15 will be eligible to appear in special-edition Visa commercials airing on TV and online during the Games.
All Visa cardholders in the U.S. and Canada will be automatically entered in Visa 2012 Olympic Games Trip for Life Sweepstakes from May 1 to August 31, 2012, (when they use their card) and the chance to win an all-expenses paid trip for two to the summer Olympic Games for the rest of their lives. And fans were invited to hang out on its Facebook page today for a virtual chat with Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps.