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Visa Europe expands mobile payments across British retail space

By
May 6, 2015

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Visa Europe’s mobile wallet.

Visa continues to expand the availability of mobile payments services in Europe, as the credit card company strives to keep up with consumers who want to be able to pay simply wherever they are, with whatever device they choose.

The expansion taking effect next month adds Arcadia Group’s Topshop as well as Iceland, bathstore and Costco.co.uk, to the roster of brands that will accept the V.me payment service. The launch comes as the mobile payments space grows increasingly crowded, accelerated by the recent introduction of Apple Pay and the mobile payments-enabling Apple Watch.

“Credit card companies are uniquely well-positioned to take advantage of the mobile wallet trend because they already have relationships with consumers, the card-issuing banks, and retail locations,” said Wilson Kerr of Unbound Commerce.

“Most importantly, they already have hardware installed at the point of sale, allowing them to reduce friction through the use of a mobile wallet on a smartphone that can be tapped using NFC, to reduce friction at checkout.”

Member banks
Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 37 countries across Europe.

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Streamlining payments at European retailers.

When shopping online, consumers can access their V.me service online from whichever device they prefer, including tablet and smartphone, so they can shop anywhere, anytime, without having to enter sensitive card details in public.

First, the user registers a selected payment card on V.me by Visa, through one of the wallet providing banks. Then, to make an online payment, the user simply logs in with an email address and password, chooses the payment card and clicks “pay.”

V.me by Visa then processes the payment while shielding the full card details.

Wendy Martin, executive director of V.me by Visa, cited a recent Accenture study which found that almost half of consumers surveyed plan to increase the number of their online purchases in the future.

The uptake of the service by retailers and banks across the country will further enable frictionless commerce, making online shopping – particularly checking out – easier, quicker and safer for the consumer, reducing the abandonment rate for merchants.

The mobile payments space continues to heat up as handset manufacturers, financial solution providers and others look to shore up their own piece of the action now that Apple and Google appear to be the ones to beat.

Driving adoption
With security one of the biggest hurdles to driving mobile payments adoption, Visa and MasterCard in the United States are doubling down on technologies such as tokenization and biometrics to safeguard customer data on smartphones.

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Advancing consumer adoption of mobile payments.

Visa expanded a program introduced last year that replaced 16-digit account numbers with a unique series of numbers called a token in online and mobile payments. Also MasterCard announced a pilot program with First Tech Federal Credit Union to use biometrics such as facial and voice recognition as well as fingerprint matching to authenticate transactions.

“By preloading credit card numbers into an online account, credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard can “prime the pump” for app downloads and use the fact that they are a trusted payment method to overcome consumer adoption trepidation,” Mr. Kerr said.

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter for Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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