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Visa Sets The Date For V.me UK Launch

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Another digital wallet is hungry for your money

Visa Europe today announced its digital wallet service V.me will be available to the UK public from autumn 2012.

V.me will compete with PayPal, Google Wallet and the recently-launched O2 Wallet for the top spot in the lucrative mobile payments market. The service will allow users to shop without getting their bank cards out of their wallets, while providing solid security expected from Visa. It will be available on any Internet-enabled device. If that device happens to be a smartphone, it will also enable NFC payments.

V for vendetta?

V.me was announced in May last year and is currently in beta version. According to Visa, it is different from other offerings because it is not either online or point-of-sale. It is both online and point-of-sale. “Just like consumers have one physical wallet, they will be able to have one digital wallet,” says the company.

E-commerce currently represents 22 percent of Visa Europe’s transactions and grew 44 percent between 2009 and 2011.

V.me will be tested in the UK, Spain and France before a Europe-wide rollout. In the UK, Visa has partnered with payments processor WorldPay to ensure that the service is designed with a focus on meeting retailer needs and expectations.

V.me will be made available through Visa’s member banks and will initially be accessed through the Internet browser on a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. The digital wallet will incorporate not just the Visa branded cards, but also those bearing the logos of Mastercard, American Express and Discover.

“Our intention is that V.me will ultimately be able to incorporate any or all of our new payment technologies, allowing our members to deliver the best possible payments experience whether face-to-face, online or in a mobile environment,” said Mariano Dima, executive vice president of product and marketing solutions at Visa Europe.

“This comprehensive service suite, delivered under the V.me umbrella, will offer an easy way to benefit from the scale, security and reliability of Visa.”

“Shoppers are driving the demand for more convenient, secure and safe ways to pay online. V.me is being developed specifically to address those needs,” commented Phillip McGriskin, chief product officer at WorldPay.

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