V.me Moves Forward in Europe (Dec. 2, 2013)
Visa’s entry into the digital wallet space is now live in a quartet of European countries. The payment network’s V.me wallet has launched in the U.K., France, Poland and Spain, marking the first steps of a planned rollout across the continent.
V.me exited beta in the U.S. just over a year ago, and currently is accepted for online purchases at more than 1,400 merchants. Visa projects that number will grow up to 4,000 by January 2014, because of partnerships inked in conjunction with the European launch. In the U.K., Visa has joined with issuer Nationwide Building Society and acquirer WorldPay. V.me’s French partners include issuers BPCE and LCL, along with Be2Bill, Lyra Networks, Monext, Paybox, System Pay and Worldline. ING Bank Slaski is piloting V.me in Poland, while multiple pilots are underway in Spain. V.me is available to all consumers in the U.K., while the wallet is being offered to a select group of users in the other three nations, Visa said.
Designed for online shopping, V.me enables users to store payment and shipping information in the cloud so they don’t need to re-enter data at electronic checkout. Consumers can store any type of payment card in the wallet and then log in and make purchases via computer, tablet or mobile device. “Mobile phones, tablets and the use of digital payments have changed the nature of commerce,” said Steve Perry, chief commercial officer, Visa Europe. “Consumers want to be able to buy from the merchant of their choice via any device without sharing their card details.”
Next up for V.me is a full commercial launch scheduled for late 2014, according to Visa, with more retailers and issuers coming onboard over the next few months. A pilot program in Ireland is slated for early 2014, with additional launches soon to be announced.