Nationwide Building Society is offering a digital wallet to its customers after launching Visa’s V.me service.
The announcement could inject much needed pace into V.me solution, which has been available in the UK for 18 months.
The service was launched in May 2012 and the Royal Bank of Scotland became the first financial services firm to adopt it as part of a trial in November. However, Nationwide has beat it to become the first to fully roll out the service to customers, making it available to its 6.5 million customers.
RBS is yet to release its version of the service, despite its plan for a full roll-out this year to RBS and Natwest customers.
Visa said: “RBS continues to be a key development partner for V.me by Visa. It has undergone a successful trial and discussion of the next phase of its launch is currently underway. We will confirm the date as soon as possible.”
V.me is software providing Visa and non-Visa customers with a secure online point-of-sale (POS), which can be accessed via PC, tablet and mobile devices as part of a digital wallet service. It will eventually be incorporated into all Visa Europe’s new payment technologies.
Graham Beale, CEO at Nationwide, said: “In 1997, Nationwide were first to offer the UK consumer internet banking and we are always looking to invest in ways to improve the customer experience by pioneering new technology.”
Daniel Mayo, financial services analyst at Ovum, said banks were not in a hurry to implement a wallet, but were positioning themselves so they didn't fall behind.
“Many are paranoid that they might miss a trick like they did with online payments when they let companies like PayPal in,” he said, adding that mobile wallets were very important for customer relationships.
Visa expects half of UK payments will be made through mobile devices by 2020 as mobile infrastructures pave the way for mass adoption of mobile wallets.