Visa officially launches its digital wallet V.me

According to the company, over 50 financial institutions have adopted the payment service, which will compete with Google Wallet, PayPal and other offerings from mobile carriers.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
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Visa has finally brought its digital wallet V.me out of beta.

The company announced its move today, saying that the official V.me launch accompanies deals Visa has signed with over 50 financial institutions that will support the platform. The financial institutions, including America First Credit Union, Capitol Federal Savings Bank, and others, combine to service over 55 million people, according to Visa.

Visa has also signed up a host of online merchants, including 1-800-Flowers and Beach Camera, to support V.me.

Like other services, Visa's digital-wallet offering lets customers pay for products without pulling plastic out of their wallet. However, unlike quasi-competitors such as Google Wallet, V.me is designed solely for the Web. So, rather than input a credit card into a payment system on a site, V.me lets customers pay directly through its service by clicking that option on the merchant's checkout page. The service, which requires users to input credit cards and debit cards at sign-up, works across smartphones, tablets, and PCs.

"V.me is built around a single concept, to help people shop online simply and securely," Visa global head of eCommerce Jennifer Schulz said today in a statement.

A host of companies are vying for dominance in the digital-wallet market, including Google, mobile carriers, and PayPal. So far, however, none of those firms have been able to gain much traction, leaving the market wide open for the moment.