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Visa preps digital wallet

11 May 2011  |  12798 views  |  0 wallet

Visa's assault on the online and mobile commerce markets is gathering momentum, with a digital wallet coming to customers in the US and Canada this autumn.

The digital wallet will store Visa and non-Visa payments accounts and support NFC through payWave, letting customers complete transactions online, with their mobile, on social networks and at the point-of-sale.

Customers use an e-mail address, alias or online ID and password for payments, instead of a billing address, account number and expiration date, making it more convenient and safer to use, says Visa.

Users can also set up preferences for how the wallet works, allowing them to customise and control the features such as privacy settings and account designation. Another feature will enable them to opt in to receive money-saving discounts or promotions from participating merchants

The firms is working with issuers including Barclaycard, BB&T, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank and US Bank ahead of the launch later this year of a product that ties in capabilities it has acquired by buying CyberSource, Authorize.net and PlaySpan.

The digital wallet will be introduced in other developed markets at a later date but Visa says it is also working with banks and mobile networks on different systems in emerging markets.

In Africa and the Middle East where mobile device usage is high and traditional electronic payments infrastructure is less developed, it is working with network operators to link new virtual pre-paid Visa accounts to phone numbers to enable cash-in, cash-out, personal payments and mobile payments.

In places like India and Russia, where card issuance and mobile subscriptions are high, but card usage is relatively low, it wants to drive account activation and usage by working with financial institutions and operators to link cards and handsets.

Joseph Saunders, CEO, Visa, says: "We are introducing new solutions for e-commerce and mobile devices that provide the same 'Visa-quality' experience-convenience, reliability and security-people enjoy when using their Visa cards at a retail location. In doing so, we are accelerating the global shift to digital payments by harnessing our brand, products, network and 50-plus years of payments experience."

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