V.me, Visa's digital wallet competitor to PayPal, is scheduled to debut this fall in the UK, France and Spain. It will be an online payment service at first but the bigger plan is to make it an in-store tool for transactions using NFC.
V.me will start as an online payment system, allowing people to pay for goods through their PC, tablet or smartphone. Consumers will be able to load various credit cards, not just Visa cards, onto the wallet and pay using a simple user name and password. The goal is to eventually make it a tool for real-world offline payments using NFC (near field communication) technology, though it’s unclear when Visa is planning on rolling that out.
“Our intention is that V.me will ultimately be able to incorporate any or all of our new payment technologies, allowing our members to deliver the best possible payments experience whether face-to-face, online or in a mobile environment,” said Mariano Dima, Executive Vice President of Product and Marketing Solutions at Visa Europe, in a statement.
Visa Europe will partner with payments processor WorldPay, which will help ensure that that the digital wallet service meets the needs of UK retailers. More banks and retail partners are expected to be announced in the future.
In November, Visa announced that V.me would launch in the U.S. in early 2012 after the holidays. But so far, there hasn’t been any indication as to when that will move forward. Visa also said it expected to add in-store payments using NFC later in 2012, but again, it’s unclear if that timeline has also slipped.