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Visa’s PayPal clone is far from dead as more banks sign up

Visa’s pinning its hopes on its online wallet service. But is it too little too late for the market leader?

Visa’s PayPal clone -
Visa’s PayPal clone –

Apple may be grabbing most of the headlines today with the upcoming launch of Apple Pay in the UK, but soon-to-be rival Visa has plans of its own, having signed up 5 of Britain’s biggest banks for its new digital wallet.

The catchily-named digital wallet stores all of your card details in one online account, removing the hassle of having to enter your account and shipping details every time you make an online purchase.

Users simply login using an account id and password held by Visa and can complete the transaction in a couple of clicks.

So far the card giant has won the backing of Lloyds, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, TSB and the Nationwide building society.

A number of retailers have signed up to accept the new payment method, include Currys, Dune and the Arcadia group of fashion brands including Topshop and Dorothy Perkins.

Too little too late?

If the service sounds familiar to you, it should.

Visa’s service offers many of features you will find on Paypal, the market leader. Clearly Visa has been spooked by the meteoric rise of Paypal, but is this a case of too little too late?

Visa says its partnerships with the banks will result in bank-branded digital wallets – although it is not yet clear how that will benefit the end consumer.

It is also worth noting Visa has partnered up with Google to support the upcoming Android pay service. Visa Europe’s Jeremy Nicholds, Visa Europe summed up the market appetite for mobile payments:

This is another example of why we say that 2015 is the year mobile payments will at last become a commercial reality

But with Apple Pay grabbing the support of the majority of Britain’s biggest banks, and mobile-first competitors launching all the time, the pressure is on. With competition coming from all corners, Visa will have to innovate fast or face being left behind.

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Visa’s PayPal clone is far from dead as more banks sign up