Visa has launched its V.me digital wallet commercially in the US, although initially the service is for mobile and online rather than physical payments. The wallet will become available for physical payments at point-of-sale locations in 2013.
The credit card firm also announced it has signed agreements with 53 financial institutions who will offer the digital wallet to their customers.
Visa says the addressable market for V.me is now up to 55 million US cardholders via these institutions which leaves room for it to strike more relationships to expand the digital wallet’s reach further in the US market.
The credit card firm has also signed up 23 online merchants who will accept V.me.
V.me, which has been in beta since 2011, is designed to free online and mobile shoppers from having to input their financial details every time they make a purchase. Instead, once they have signed up to Visa’s service, they can checkout using just a username and password.
Visa is hardly alone in this marketplace. It faces powerful competition from the likes of Amex, MasterCard and PayPal among others for online payments.
For physical payments in 2013, Visa says it will look to NFC in certain markets but will also look at rival point-of-sale technologies such as QR codes. In addition to the likes of MasterCard and Amex, it will have to compete against rivals such as Isis and Google Wallet for physical payments.
The V.me model is an open wallet meaning users can add funds using not just Visa-backed payments but also those from an Amex, MasterCard and Discover cards.