V.me by Visa, the first pan-European digital wallet service to be offered by banks and financial institutions, is now live in the UK, France, Spain and Poland.
The UK's Nationwide Building Society is today joined by leading issuers BPCE and LCL in France, with ING Bank Slaski now in pilot in Poland and multiple pilots also underway in Spain. Other major issuers will launch soon in all four markets, marking a major milestone for the service as it enters the first stage of its pan-European launch.
Offering simple, secure online payments, V.me by Visa is designed to increase consumer confidence in online shopping and reduce the proportion of sales that are abandoned during the checkout process. In the UK any cardholder can sign up to participate in the launch. In other markets the service is currently being offered to a select group of consumers, with wider availability to follow in the coming months.
More than 1,400 merchants accept V.me by Visa today, with soon-to-launch retailers including Universal Music in the UK and Allopneus, Aquarelle, Brandalley, Leclerc Drive, Made.com and Pecheur.com in France.
By January 2014, up to 4,000 merchants will accept V.me by Visa thanks to strategic partnerships with main services suppliers in the payment industry, notably WorldPay in the UK, as well Be2Bill (Rentabiliweb), Lyra Networks, Monext, Paybox (Point), System Pay and Worldline (Atos subsidiary in e-payment services) in France.
The V.me by Visa pilot programme for Ireland will take place in early 2014, with more launches soon to be announced. Consumers in each country will be able to use their wallet at any European retailer that accepts V.me by Visa.
Steve Perry, Chief Commercial Officer, Visa Europe, says: "V.me by Visa gives merchants and issuers an acceptance mark that will work across Europe. Mobile phones, tablets and the use of digital payments have changed the nature of commerce: consumers want to be able to buy from the merchant of their choice via any device without sharing their card details. That's why we're working with our members and merchants to give them the benefit of V.me by Visa's scale and international reach."
Graham Beale, Nationwide's Chief Executive, said: "Nationwide is proud to be the first financial services provider in the UK to offer V.me by Visa. This builds on our heritage of implementing practical technological solutions which improve the experience for our members. This will make online shopping easier, faster and more secure for our over seven million credit and debit card customers."
Ron Kalifa, Deputy Chairman at WorldPay comments: "Retailers backing digital wallets, such as V.me by Visa, are in a strong place to capitalise on changing consumer shopping habits. As our own research has shown, small businesses are also expanding their payment methods incorporating online and mobile wallet solutions. We're expecting V.me by Visa to deliver real value in improving online sales conversions for both small businesses and large corporates."
The phased launch will see further retailers and issuers coming on board rapidly over the next few months ahead of the full commercial launch and consumer marketing campaign in late 2014.