Visa Checkout Enters the Payment Processing Wars

The platforming of the buying experience continues. Inspired by Amazon’s “Buy Now” button, in the last several years all of the GAFA players have been getting in on the action to collect a slice of the payment processing side of e-commerce. Visa Checkout is the latest entrant in the race.

In the e-commerce wars between these behemoths to get a cut of profits in every way possible, the newest thing is to collect the infinitely valuable “Buyer ID” data that will allow them, ultimately, to be the preferred vendor services agents for everything consumers buy in the future. It’s also an important piece of getting ready to have more consumers shopping by voice using mobile devices or the various home assistants already in use across the world.

  • Begun as Google Express, instant payment processing is now folded into the Google Shopping universe, where buyers can discover a product on a Google Search, go directly to a checkout page, and pay instantly with their stored user information.
  • Apple, though still slow to create its own marketplace platform, has already gone all-in on payment processing with ApplePay.
  • Facebook wants to create its own currency, so you never have to leave the Facebook ecosystem when you want to buy something that’s advertised there, or sold directly through its Marketplace.
  • Amazon, of course, still leads the pack as first adopter of the “Buy Now” button, and continues to be the “world’s largest store.”

And it’s not just those. Consumers can buy instantly now on Instagram, and on Pinterest.

Not to be left out (or pushed out), payment processing companies are busy trying to create new value for consumers that will allow them to stay in the game at checkout. Recently we wrote about PayPal’s acquisition of discount comparison engine Honey, in a play to attract Millennial and GenZ shoppers. 

Now it’s Visa’s turn, with Visa Checkout

The credit card giant has begun rolling out a new online payment system called Visa Checkout. Customers will be able to click-to-pay with their Visa cards on any e-commerce checkout page where this icon appears:                                   

Visa Checkout icon
Visa Checkout on a mobile phone

This new click-to-pay experience aims to simplify paying online by eliminating the frictions of needing to remember passwords and reducing the number of lengthy form fields at checkout. These frictions are the leading cause of shopping cart abandonment, causing rates as high as 40%

Rollout is happening now.

The company is testing customer experience with Checkout before a full rollout. It is initially available at a few participating merchants that include Cinemark, Movember, and Rakuten, leading up to wider availability in early 2020 when remaining Visa Checkout merchants will transition in.

Cardholders activate their access to Checkout when they use their card the first time at any participating merchant site. This works across both desktops and mobile devices, so however they’re shopping, they’ll be able to use Checkout. An option to have it remember the card appears, and once that’s selected they can use the streamlined service again wherever they see the icon.                                              

For e-commerce merchants, this is a bonus–so long as you’re content to have your customers keep their payment accounts with Visa instead of creating an account to store it on your merchant site.

Be sure you have a triggered field to at least capture a customer’s email information and an opt-in form to receive offers from you. Remember also that you can offer multiple payment options from any of the major payment processors so that customers with a particular card preference won’t be discouraged from buying. Whichever processors you use, just make it as easy as possible to check out conveniently–and fast.

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