A New Way to Pay Online: Visa Launches 'Visa Checkout'

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Technology Writer
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San Francisco -- Shopping online with your Visa card is about to get a lot easier through a new product called “Visa Checkout.” Announced at an event here at Visa’s new office, Checkout saves your card and shipping information and allows you to make online purchases in just a few clicks using a username and password.

Visa CEO Charles Scharf described the service as “your Visa card for the digital world.” The hope with Visa Checkout is to make shopping with your card online as easy as using it at physical stores, removing the hassle of typing in a ton of information each time you shop.

Sam Shrauger, Visa's senior vice president of digital solutions, described the service as a simplification of payments, not another more complicated way to pay. “This is not a wallet, it’s a digital form of the cards you love,” he said.

Visa is launching the service today with several partners including Petco, Overstock, Lululemon, Teleflora and Staples. For merchants, the cost of implementing the service is zero. Merchants pay transaction fees on each purchase -- identical to what they pay through their current checkout method.

Related: Why Your Credit Card Company Wants to Replace Magnetic Strips With Microchips

Visa Checkout will show up on a merchant’s site as a payment option, just like cash or credit. You can enter your credit card information manually just as you always have, but selecting the “Visa Checkout” option will launch a new window where you’ll be prompted to enter a username and password.

If the idea sounds familiar, it’s because several other payment services are already doing it. Visa Checkout is similar to offerings by both Mastercard and PayPal. With Mastercard’s MasterPass and PayPal you’re able to complete transactions online using saved payment information.

The difference between those companies and Visa is primarily reach. Visa currently has 2.2 billion cardholders. It issues cards for 14,000 financial institutions and is offered as a way to pay at over 36 million merchants.

Anxious to give it a try? Visa Checkout is live now at a number of retailers. Check out the full list here.

Related: The Crazy Things Your Future Credit Cards Will Do (Infographic)

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