Visa to launch mobile wallet in U.S. this fall

New system to support NFC and non-Visa accounts

Visa digital wallet
Visa announced a digital wallet service that will enable people to use their smartphones to make retail purchases. (Image courtesy of Visa)

Visa today announced plans to offer a broad mobile wallet service that will use near field communications (NFC) and other technologies to enable people to use wireless devices to make retail purchases or complete person-to-person transactions.

The service, with "click-to-buy" functionality, will launch in the U.S. and Canada in the fall, Visa said in a statement. A webcast on the news is set for later today. Visa has plans for rolling out the system in other countries, but it didn't elaborate.

The largest credit card processor in the U.S., Visa already does business with many U.S. banks, and it will work with several others on the digital wallet system. Its partners in the effort will include Barclaycard US, which had been identified as a founding member of the Isis initiative set up by three major U.S. wireless carriers last fall. The carriers involved in Isis planned to provide a variety of wireless and NFC services. A pilot test of the Isis system is set for mid-2012 in Salt Lake City. Isis had Discover, the fourth largest credit card processor, in its initial roster of founding members.

Other banks and financial institutions working on the Visa digital wallet project include Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, US Bank, TD Bank Group and Scotia Bank.

Visa said it will honor cross-channel payments, meaning it will consolidate multiple Visa and non-Visa payment accounts that can be used in mobile, e-commerce, social network and retail point of sale transactions.

Hear Visa talk about its new cross-channel digital wallet.

(This story will be updated.)

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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