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Visa's amazing answer to e-wallet domination: A new logo

Take that, PayPal

Website security in corporate America

Visa USA has launched its new logo, with service to follow next year, securing online payments by hosting your wallet in the Visa cloud.

The idea is that you upload details of your payment cards to Visa, even if they're not Visa-branded, and Visa will process the payment without ever revealing your card details to the merchant. Basically it's like using PayPal, only merchants have to be registered with Visa and there's no stored value, but it also maintains the protection inherent in using a credit card.

Visa logo

Just stare at the logo... don't you feel more secure already?

The "V.me" service won't launch until next year, but the website is up and accepting enquiries from merchants and developers. Merchants who register with the service just add a line or two of JavaScript and the V.me logo will appear on their site. Users who have already uploaded their card details then click on the logo to make the payment and enter a username and password in the (Visa-served) window which pops up.

The point here is that the merchant just gets a message from Visa's server saying the transaction has been approved; they don't get to see the card details or even know what card was used.

WorldPay already offers something very similar, with a UK offering costing £75 in setup fees plus a monthly subscription of £15 as well as a few per cent of every transaction depending on the volume of traffic, and that still requires the user to type their card details in every time. V.me is trying to get those card details entered once, and then secured with a username and password within its cloud.

That's much closer to the PayPal model, which links accounts to email addresses but stores credit card details in much the same way. But working through PayPal removes much of the consumer protection that paying by credit card provides: the payment is made to PayPal, not to the final merchant, so any dispute must be resolved with PayPal rather than the credit-card issuer.

V.me isn't acting as an intermediary, so should maintain one's fraud protection, though to what extent we won’t know until the service launches next year. We do know that the whole V.me is just a precursor to Visa's planned electronic wallet – something akin to Google Wallet which will allow cards to be installed into an NFC handset and used at every Visa-PayWave-equipped till, probably using the same logo. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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