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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2693 - December 12, 2011 - ISSN 1539-5065    3 of 6

Will Merchants and Marketplaces Embrace Visa's V.me?

By Kenneth Corbin
EcommerceBytes.com
December 12, 2011




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Visa is poised for a major push into the digital payment space, planning the launch of a unified checkout service for major credit cards, along with a developer platform for new payment apps and expanded support for online, mobile and in-person transactions.

But it remains to be seen how much the new service, dubbed V.me, will gain traction on the major ecommerce marketplaces when it launches next year.

eBay, for its part, was non-committal. "While we always consider enhancing the experience on eBay, at this time we have nothing to announce with regard to other payment options," company spokeswoman Johnna Hoff said.

Amazon spokesman Ty Rogers declined to comment altogether.

But Visa is hoping that the extension of its payment services will win adoption among independent sellers on their websites, and noting that its new tools will even enable person-to-person transactions through a credit card.

Online sellers who integrate the V.me payment option into their stores can offer safety-conscious shoppers a secure payment method that won't require them to enter their credit card information. Visa is promising consumers that each V.me transaction will be protected with multilayer authentication and bank-level encryption, and that the card information will never be shared with the seller.

Consumers can keep multiple cards consolidated in a single V.me account. At checkout, if the merchant supports the service, the shopper will click the "V.me by Visa" button and select which card they wish to use to fund the transaction.

What's more, Visa says that the service will not be limited to its own cards, but that it will support MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards as well, each of which will be available for the customer to select using a single set of V.me login and password credentials.

For sellers, Visa will process the routing and delivery of payments from the shopper's V.me account to the merchant's account, vouching for the security with its authentication technology and verified shipping and billing addresses, and handling all aspects of PCI compliance.

Visa has not yet disclosed its fee schedule for sellers, but it promises that when it becomes available closer to the launch, it will offer "straightforward pricing." Visa did not immediately respond to a request for comment seeking more details about pricing and the timing of the launch.

Users of V.me will have access to an online dashboard that will include reporting and visualization tools to help sellers analyze data such as recent sales, daily and monthly reports, purchase categories and average and total revenue.

In offering a speedy checkout and eliminating the need for customers to enter their credit card information, Visa is hoping that its V.me payment option will help reduce shopping cart abandonment.

Visa boasts that sellers will be able to integrate V.me payment processing into their sites simply by copying and pasting a few lines of JavaScript. But the company is encouraging more ambitious merchants to peruse its developer center, where it is making available to approved developers APIs, documentation and software development kits to build novel payment applications, such as in-game purchases or integrations with mobile devices. For online sellers, Visa is offering a sandbox where they can test their payment applications before taking them live.

About the author:

Kenneth Corbin is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. He has written on politics, technology and other subjects since 2007, most recently as the Washington correspondent for InternetNews.com, covering Congress, the White House, the FCC and other regulatory affairs. He can be found on LinkedIn here.

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