Visa announced V.me today, a PayPal-like online payments system, along with a new developer center encouraging developers to actually use it.
Visa and the credit card are almost synonymous. But since the inception of e-commerce, payments don’t just fall into the credit card swipe, written check, or passed cash forms anymore. Now there’s the virtual credit card swipe, direct extraction from bank accounts and even a move toward organized bartering on sites such as Yardsellr and TradePal. PayPal, an online payments system own by e-commerce company eBay, made a significant ripple in safe online transactions, and it looks like Visa wants in on the game.
V.me allows people who have signed up, to enter their credit card information and store it with Visa. Consumers and business users alike can then surf and buy on the internet without having to enter a 16-digit credit card number at checkout. The service is not Visa-exclusive, though. You can enter any major credit card information onto V.me and use it from a computer, mobile device.
How does Visa hope to put V.me on the payments map? It’s put together the Visa Developer Center to help developers in the gaming, financial, e-commerce and mobile industries to incorporate V.me into their products. For instance, gaming developers can use V.me for in-app purchases, and currency, or direct integration with e-commerce check-out pages. Developers will have access to application programming interfaces (API), software developer kits (SDK), as well as simplified documentation provided by Visa and its owned entities CyberSource, Authorize.Net, and PlaySpan.
Developers will also be able to play with V.me’s security features such as APIs for account validation, transaction initiation, money laundering tools and currency exchange for international purchases.
Competitor PayPal is on pretty strong footing, however, with 12 million monthly users for virtual gaming goods. It has passed 100 million overall active users and raked in $1 billion for eBay in this year’s second quarter. Not to mention it has its own developer community, with a big push from eBay to pay attention to that community. The company formed X.Commerce, which has been slowly rolling out new ways for developers to play with eBay’s e-commerce solutions.
Developers are an important part of the marketing process and these efforts from Visa and PayPal to accommodate them with a variety of tools and services show that big brands are becoming well aware of that.
[Phone credit cards photo via Shutterstock]