Visa Checkout: What’s in a Name?
By Joe Bush
Of all the features included in Visa’s Digital Solutions suite, one is brand new, has a name and is up and running. And, it could launch Visa into the online payments space in a more comprehensive way.
Of the collection of offerings the company announced last week that enable secure payments across a wide range of Internet-connected devices, Visa Checkout is the one that got its own announcement . On July 16, Visa introduced the replacement for V.me, launched in 2012. Marketing the service as a “digital wallet,” however, fell flat with consumers looking for something simpler.
Amanda Pires, Visa’s vice president of communication for emerging markets and innovation, calls Checkout “entirely re-imagined and re-engineered,” saying the main contrast with V.me is increased simplicity for consumers. The switch is in effect for the U.S, Australian and Canadian markets.
- Reducing the number of payment screens to just two, eliminating the need to re-enter shipping and billing addresses.
- For financial institutions and merchants, reduction of time needed for platform integration from months to weeks.
- An intuitive checkout experience to encourage conversion.
Pires adds that the name change followed qualitative and quantitative consumer testing that revealed the name delivered a clear association with Visa’s brand, an easily understood purpose of the product, and decreased the amount of consumer education necessary, something V.me clearly lacked.
Nathalie Reinelt, an analyst for Boston-based payments consultancy Aite Group’s Retail Banking & Payments practice, echoes Pires’s explanations.
“V.me was not very intuitive for consumers,” says Reinelt. “Visa Checkout as a name is much better, much more representative of what it actually does. From that perspective it was a very smart move on Visa’s part because consumers didn’t necessarily know what [V.me] was and Visa Checkout is much more relevant to the actual functionality that they’re offering.
“Visa is a very, very trusted brand and it’s smart to make it more prominent, and to make it a checkout feature which consumers are very familiar with it because of Amazon and PayPal,” she continues. “It makes it more likely consumers are going to take a look at it and sign up for it.”
Reinelt says the obvious links between Visa and PayPal and the emergence of Checkout raise the question of competition between the two.
“Consumers have so many payment options at checkout,” Reinelt says. “The payment space is tricky; they are competitors, but it’s just giving consumers the option. Having credentials stored with Visa is so much easier for consumers. Not every consumer has an Amazon account, not every consumer has a PayPal account.”