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This article was last updated Aug 22, 2018. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
When you pay for purchases online, you may have come across the Visa Checkout option and wonder if it’s worth creating an account. Visa Checkout is an online and mobile payments platform that allows you to enter a username and password at checkout and complete your purchase without requiring you to manually input your credit card number or shipping info.
Similar to PayPal and Masterpass™, Visa Checkout aims to simplify consumers’ checkout experience and create a minimal-click experience. But while it isn’t a one-click experience, using Visa Checkout to pay for online purchases at over 100 online stores can save you time and speed up the checkout process — it’s also free to use and you can sign up even if you don’t have a Visa card.
But don’t get too excited — it’s only been around for a few years and doesn’t have the widest acceptance compared to PayPal and Masterpass™. In this post, we’ll explain if it’s secure, how you can sign up for and use Visa Checkout, as well as how it stacks up to competing payment platforms.
Should you use Visa Checkout to pay online?
Check out the retailers that currently accept Visa Checkout to see if it’s worthwhile for you to create an account. Since it’s not as widely used as PayPal or Masterpass™, you won’t find Visa Checkout as an option quite as often. For example, it’s not a payment option on popular sites like Amazon and eBay, limiting the ways you can use the platform.
Similar to competing payment platforms, Visa Checkout does simplify the online checkout process by allowing you to skip the sections on shipping and billing and easily submit your purchase. But, we’re not convinced it’s worth it to create yet another username and password to remember for a service that isn’t that widely used.
Overall, if you’re looking for a simple way to pay online or in-app, Visa Checkout is a just-OK choice. If you want a convenient way to pay in-store without taking out your credit card, Visa Checkout is not the option for you. It’s not currently available to be used in-store, so you may better off with mobile wallets, PayPal, or Masterpass™.
Now we’ll take a closer look at how Visa Checkout compares to PayPal and Masterpass™.
How Visa Checkout compares to PayPal and Masterpass™
Visa Checkout vs. PayPal
|Availability||Available at 100+ online retailers||Available at millions of retailers|
|Can be used online||Yes||Yes|
|Can be used in-store||No||Yes|
|Perks||Few, occasional special offers and discounts at select online retailers||100+ occasional special offers and discounts at select online retailers|
Visa Checkout pales in comparison to PayPal, which is available at millions of retailers both online and in-store. In comparison, Visa Checkout is just available at over 100 retailers, and can only be used for online and in-app purchases. Looking at the perks of each platform, you’re going to find more discounts and special offers with PayPal compared to Visa Checkout — sometimes Visa Checkout even offers only one deal at a time. Therefore, if you want the most flexibility and largest selection of deals when paying with payments platform, we recommend opting for PayPal.
Visa Checkout vs. Masterpass™
|Availability||Available at 100+ online retailers||Available at thousands of retailers|
|Can be used online||Yes||Yes|
|Can be used in-store||No||Yes|
|Perks||Few, occasional special offers and discounts at select online retailers||Few, occasional special offers and discounts at select online retailers|
Launched a year before Visa Checkout, Masterpass™ offers a wider retailer acceptance and alternative checkout option. You can use Masterpass™ in-store, in-app, and online; Visa Checkout is limited to online and in-app transactions. So if you don’t want to have one account for your online and in-app transactions, then another seperate account for your in-store transactions, we recommend sticking with Masterpass™. Both payment platforms offer occasional deals, so there are aren’t any particular perks that make one platform better than the other.
Is Visa Checkout secure?
Visa Checkout has numerous risk and authentication features that help to make it a secure platform. Risk is evaluated at every “stage” to ensure transactions are completed securely and seamlessly. Some security features include user login, geolocation, and IP address evaluation.
The various security features have resulted in a decrease in fraud when consumers used Visa Checkout. Specifically, Visa stated that its “fraud volume as a percentage of sales [was] 63% lower and its fraud count as a percentage of transactions [was] 56% lower than non-Visa Checkout volume at top Visa Checkout merchants.”
Read more about the Visa Checkout risk and authentication capabilities here.
How to sign up for Visa Checkout
Go to the Visa Checkout site. Fill in your name, email or mobile number, and country, then create a password. From there enter your credit card information and address. Your account will be created and ready to use on participating sites.
How to use Visa Checkout
When you’re ready to checkout and if the Visa Checkout option is available, you’ll see some version of the images below. It may be evident on top of the checkout page or you may have to look for the Visa Checkout option under the “payment options” section.
Simply click the Visa Checkout option and log in. Then, you’ll need to select which credit card you want to use. After selecting a card, your information will be automatically filled out and you can confirm your purchase.
Overall, Visa Checkout doesn’t have the widespread acceptance of other payment platforms like PayPal and Masterpass™ or the flexibility to be used in brick-and-mortar stores. Still, it does have limited time deals that may make it worthwhile to sign-up, simply to benefit from savings. If you currently have a PayPal account and don’t mind potentially missing out on occasional deals, we recommend sticking with just PayPal, since it may be overkill to have both a PayPal and Visa Checkout account.
If you decide to create a Visa Checkout account, you can use a different payment platform like PayPal or Masterpass™ for brick-and-mortar transactions, or even a mobile wallet like those offered by Apple, Samsung and Android.