V.me Gains Traction

February 7, 2013
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shutterstock_119544796Visa’s V.me is making market inroads.

Visa disclosed yesterday that its online payment checkout solution has:

  • 31 merchant sites live and an additional 132 merchants signed up through Feb. 5;
  • 63 issuers signed up to participate; and
  • 12 of the top 25 U.S. banks and 51 U.S. regional banks.

Most notably, Visa has secured Bank of America as a V.me client, with BofA integrating V.me into its online banking website.

Visa says the issuers signed up “represent 55 million Visa cards.”

This is all since Visa officially took V.me, which competes online with PayPal, out of beta last November. V.me launched with 50 banks participating. As points of reference, PayPal has around 117 million active users, while Visa has nearly 2.1 billion — with a B — card holders globally.

Visa did not disclose the volume of transactions currently being processed through V.me. However, Byron H. Pollitt, Visa’s CFO, said during the company’s earnings call yesterday that V.me was among the initiatives at the company that has “first call” on growth capital.

“[W]e’re building V.me on behalf of our customers,” said Charles W. Scharf , Visa’s chief executive. “If you go use V.me, you will have to register for it so that your information gets in there. But from that point forward, it is completely supportive of our banks. When you pay for something using V.me, we have the ability to show the card art exactly as it exists in someone’s wallet today. So, V.me is not meant to be direct to consumer to go around our issuers, it’s actually just the opposite. It’s meant to support them with the electronic wallet that will enable them to continue to grow commerce.”

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