Visa Europe is to make its digital wallet available in the UK, lending momentum to the wave of consumers taking up mobile banking services.
The V.me digital wallet service will be available to a select group of visa customers in the UK, Spain and France.
The service which will be initially accessed through a browser on computing devices, including smartphones. It will eventually incorporate all Visa Europe’s new payment technologies, said Mariano Dima, executive vice-president of marketing at the company.
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Payment processing company WorldPay is a development partner for V.me.
Dima said: "V.me sits at the heart of Visa’s future of payments. For the first time, consumers and retailers will have a streamlined online checkout experience through an acceptance mark that offers industry-leading security and, when a Visa card is used in a V.me wallet, the same protection and rights that come with any Visa card transaction.”
The number of customers using smartphones to make purchases has soared 254% since March 2011, according to recent research for the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales index.
Mobile retail has so far averaged 300% year-on-year growth for the first quarter of 2012. However, the conversion rates for shoppers that visit a retailer’s site via a mobile device and actually buy something remain low at 0.7%.
According to KPMG research, global m-payment transactions are expected to grow 97% per year over the next 3 years, reaching a value of £591bn by 2015.
KPMG found that the growth will be fueled by consumer demand for devices with near field technology – tablets and smartphones that interact with scanners at the point of sale and immediately transfer funds.
Barclays Bank recently launched its Pingit mobile banking application to smartphone users.
Barclays Bank's Pingit application enables mobile phone users to make free payments to other UK smartphone users directly. The application was downloaded by over 120,000 people within five days of its release.