Visa’s Digital Wallet

CBC reports that Visa has just announced the next generation of payment solutions that includes a secure cross-channel digital wallet and customized mobile payments services.  The digital wallet will store both Visa and non-Visa payment accounts, support NFC payments through the Visa payWave application, and deliver a range of transaction services to accommodate multiple scenarios, including mobile commerce, eCommerce, micropayments, social networks, and even person-to-person payments.

Visa eventually hopes to link the digital wallet to a chip in a cellphone that would allow consumers to pay by tapping the phone near a receiver in bricks-and-mortar stores.  Visa is promising that the wallet will be well-protected by security and users won’t be accountable for fraud involving Visa products.

Visa expects to launch the digital wallet in the U.S. and Canada in fall 2011 and is working with payments card issuers, banks, credit unions, acquirers, payments processors and merchants in the launch.  Noted financial institutions and organizations supporting Visa’s wallet strategy are:

  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Scotiabank
  • TD Bank Group
  • Barclaycard US
  • Card Services for Credit Unions
  • ICBA Bancard
  • PNC Bank
  • PSCU Financial Services
  • Regions Bank

Key features of the digital wallet will include:

  • Click-to-buy:  Shop securely by entering an email address, alias or online ID and password. Visa is also exploring dynamic authentication technologies, bringing additional layers of security to online purchases.
  • Cross-channel payments:  Consolidates multiple Visa and non-Visa accounts and can be used in mobile, eCommerce, social network and retail PoS environments.
  • Preference management:  A menu that enables customers to customize and control how their wallet will work, the privacy settings, designating which account will be accessed based on merchant type or purchase amount, and more.
  • Merchant offers:  A service allowing consumers to opt-in to money-saving discounts or promotional offers from participating merchants.

Visa intends to connect existing “closed loop” mobile money services that provide basic mobile banking and payment services to its global network, VisaNet.  This integration will open closed loop systems, and provide consumers and merchants with unprecedented scale, functionality and acceptance beyond local geographic footprints.