V.me by Visa launches across Europe

V.me by Visa enters the first phase of consumer availability with multiple European issuers live by December 2013

London, 27 November 2013: V.me by Visa, the first pan-European digital wallet service to be offered by banks and financial institutions, is now live in the UK, France, Spain and Poland. The UK’s Nationwide Building Society is today joined by leading issuers BPCE and LCL in France, with ING Bank Slaski now in pilot in Poland and multiple pilots also underway in Spain. Other major issuers will launch soon in all four markets, including RBS in the UK, marking a major milestone for the service as it enters the first stage of its pan-European launch.

Offering simple, secure online payments, V.me by Visa is designed to increase consumer confidence in online shopping and reduce the proportion of sales that are abandoned during the checkout process. In the UK any cardholder can sign up to participate in the launch. In other markets the service is currently being offered to a select group of consumers, with wider availability to follow in the coming months.

More than 1,400 merchants accept V.me by Visa today, with soon-to-launch retailers including Universal Music in the UK and Allopneus, Aquarelle, Brandalley, Leclerc Drive, Made.com and Pecheur.com in France.

By January 2014, up to 4,000 merchants will accept V.me by Visa thanks to strategic partnerships with main services suppliers in the payment industry, notably WorldPay in the UK, as well as Be2bill (Rentabiliweb), Payzen (Lyra Network), Payline by Monext, Paybox (Point VeriFone), SystemPay (Natixis Paiements) and Worldline (Atos subsidiary in e-payment services) in France.

The V.me by Visa pilot programme for Ireland will take place in early 2014, with more launches soon to be announced. Consumers in each country will be able to use their wallet at any European retailer that accepts V.me by Visa.

Steve Perry, Chief Commercial Officer, Visa Europe, says: “V.me by Visa gives merchants and issuers an acceptance mark that will work across Europe. Mobile phones, tablets and the use of digital payments have changed the nature of commerce: consumers want to be able to buy from the merchant of their choice via any device without sharing their card details. That’s why we’re working with our members and merchants to give them the benefit of V.me by Visa’s scale and international reach.”

Ron Kalifa, Deputy Chairman at WorldPay comments:  “Retailers backing digital wallets, such as V.me by Visa, are in a strong place to capitalise on changing consumer shopping habits. As our own research has shown, small businesses are also expanding their payment methods incorporating online and mobile wallet solutions. We’re expecting V.me by Visa to deliver real value in improving online sales conversions for both small businesses and large corporates.”

The phased launch will see further retailers and issuers coming on board rapidly over the next few months ahead of the full commercial launch and consumer marketing campaign in late 2014.

About V.me by Visa

V.me by Visa is a pan-European digital wallet service developed by Visa Europe. It makes online shopping simple and secure by removing the need for consumers to enter their card numbers, expiry dates and other personal details every time they make a purchase with an online retailer. V.me by Visa is designed to deliver an improved and streamlined online shopping experience. The V.me by Visa digital wallet can be accessed through the internet browser on a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. The service will be made available through Visa Europe’s issuing members and consumers will be able to put any card from a major scheme into the wallet, regardless of the card issuer or payment scheme.

For more information, please visit http://v.me/.

About Visa Europe

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

Visa Europe works at the forefront of technology to create the services and infrastructure which enable millions of European consumers, businesses and governments to make electronic payments. It is not a credit card company, almost 80% of its business is on debit cards, and its members are responsible for issuing cards, signing up retailers and deciding cardholder and retailer fees.

Visa Europe operates a high volume, low cost business model that provides services to its members. Its surplus is reinvested into the business and used to improve capital and reserves. In the last six years, Visa Europe has invested over €1 billion in new technology and infrastructure.

There are 470m Visa cards in Europe while €1 in every €6.75 spent in Europe is on a Visa card. Almost 80% of Visa Europe's business is on debit cards and, in the year to December 2012, over €1 trillion (1.05tr) was spent on Visa debit cards. Annual online spending on Visa cards in Europe topped €200 billion (€212bn) for the first time in this period and now accounts for more than 20% of Visa Europe’s processed business.

Since 2004, Visa Europe has been independent of Visa Inc. and incorporated in the UK, with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe. Both companies work in partnership to enable global Visa payments. As a dedicated European payment system Visa Europe is able to respond quickly to the specific market needs of European banks and their customers - cardholders and retailers - and to meet the European Commission’s objective to create a true internal market for payments.

For more information, please visit www.visaeurope.com and follow us on Twitter: @VisaEuropeNews.