V.Me by Visa – an online alternative to Paypal

Information verified correct on September 27th, 2016
Visa V.me

Visa has launched their new V.me service allowing shoppers to use a username and password instead of your credit card details when shopping online.

Aussies love online shopping with more and more users connecting to the Internet to find cheaper deals. However, the process can mean signing up and registering for a number of retailer websites and entering your credit card information numerous times.

Paypal provides a simple solution to this, allowing you to keep all your financial information in a secure online platform. But following the trend of opening digital wallets, V.me by Visa is the latest one to jump aboard.

Competing with the likes of PayPal and MasterCard, Visa is now fighting for a share in the growing consumer online shopping segment.

The company approached 40 financial institutions to be partners for their launch, including the big four, but only three agreed when it was publicly announced on Tuesday 9 July 2013. No one couldn’t help but notice that the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) was not on their list, possibly due to the fact that CBA already operates its own popular digital wallet, Kaching.

And none could be forgiven for thinking ‘wait a second, I already have an account where I can type a username and password to shop online’. The Visa V.me service works very much like PayPal where users can type in login details to send and receive money without the need to share financial information. The login details are then linked to the user’s chosen credit or debit card and its bank account as well as address details for shipping – leaving people to ask, what’s new? What sets V.me apart from PayPal is that you can’t store funds in your V.me account as transactions are instantly transferred between accounts, unlike PayPal. As well, it is the number of affiliates or partners that both companies have. But when Visa has fully rolled out V.me by Christmas, it is estimated that Visa could surpass PayPal in partners.

V.me vs paypal

According to Visa executives, the service will be available in Australia before the Christmas period, so Aussies wanting to sign up can do their Christmas shopping online. V.me has already been introduced in the United States last year. It is to be compatible with all major credit cards including its rival, MasterCard but cannot be directly linked to a savings account without a linked debit card. The same applies to MasterCard’s MasterPass but with Paypal, you can link your account with a savings account even without a debit card linked to it, as long as you can verify the account.

Many banks were already aware of the V.me launch, with NAB’s executive General Manager of Digital and Direct Banking, Antony Cahill stating that the bank would trial both MasterCard and Visa digital wallet services. Many banks will be launching, if they haven’t already, their own version of a digital wallet. The free digital wallet is also offered through the customer’s bank or financial institution.

Stats from the Reserve Bank of Australia state that AMEX and Diners club transactions attract surcharges of around 3% and Visa and Mastercard about 2%. However, Visa has become the first company to ban Australian retailers from stacking on the fees, restricting surcharges to as little as one percent. For an item that costs about $200, it could be a difference of $2 in surcharges.

Features of a V.me by Visa account

  • You can buy securely. Pay on any website where V.me is accepted and you don’t have to re-enter your checkout information. You can store one or more payment cards and shipping addresses in your V.me account, as well as enjoy the same rewards you currently get when you use your card.
  • You can sell securely from your site. V.me allows retailers to offer their customers a secure, reliable checkout experience from whatever platform their using. Multiple layers of security, including fraud-monitoring systems to their payment information safe.
  • Integrate it into your site. Online merchants can accept payments by embedding HTML and JavaScript tags. V.me accepts MasterCard, Discover and American Express and works with the seller’s existing merchant account provider. All you need to a V.me developer account and tags will be given to you.

Who’s already signed up for V.Me ?

Retailers that have already jumped onto this payments trend. JB Hi-Fi, Cotton On, City Beach and Lorna Jane have also signed up.

Information on Visa Credit Cards

Shirley Liu

Shirley is a personal finance journalist for finder.com.au. She is passionate about educating readers about home loans and helping users navigate the area to find the best deal for their financial situation.

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