*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated Feb 01, 2013, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.
For the longest time now, the only trusted name in online payments has been PayPal. I use it to make purchases, pay employees, monitor money, etc. Now it appears that Visa is trying to get in on the action with the launch of V.me. V.me is a special program that allows for one-click checkout with specific online retailers. No more having to worry about entering personal information about your credit card on the internet. Visa stores all that for you. The question is whether or not it actually works.
Let's take a look at Visa's new payment option to see if it is something you might want to sign up for.
What Is V.me?
V.me is a safe option for making payments online. Essentially all you have to do is enter your name, address, and credit card details into the system, and Visa will store them for you. Then when you go to make a purchase on another website, you simply click on the V.me button, and Visa does the rest. This not only speeds up the checkout process, but it provides an extra layer of security when shopping online. In this day and age, that matters.
Special Features to Think about
Here are some of the key features of the V.me program:
- Streamlined checkout: Once you enter your information into V.me, you won't have to re-write your shipping details, credit card numbers, and more every time you shop. V.me fills that out for you. All you have to do is enter your email address and password to verify who you are.
- Built-in rewards: You'll still get the same rewards for your credit cards when you use V.me. Even though the transactions go through an extra step, they are still considered in your spending totals.
- Trusted security: Visa provides multiple layers of security for every V.me transaction, so you know your money is safe online. If you've ever been a victim of identity theft, you know how valuable that is.
- Mobile alerts: You can receive alerts about your purchases through text messages or emails so you can fully keep an eye on your accounts.
- Money monitoring: V.me allows you to set spending limits on your cards so you can avoid breaking the budget. It also lets you see your transaction history, sorted by category and merchant, so you know where your money is really going.
- Relevant deals: Visa will send you information about special offers related to your frequent purchases, which may help you save money. If you don't want to receive these deals, you can always opt out of them.
There are other features to explore, but that shows you the general extensiveness of this system. It seems like Visa thought about just about everything.
It's Not Just for Visa…
One important thing to keep in mind is the fact that V.me isn't just for Visa. Even though that's the credit card provider that runs the program, you can use it for any card you want. MasterCard, American Express, Discover…your whole wallet can go into V.me. Regardless of the card, you'll get Visa's trusted customer service by your side. That's why V.me is giving PayPal a run for its money.
V.me vs. PayPal
I'm a huge fan of PayPal, so forgive me if I sound a little biased here. For the most part, V.me and PayPal provide the same service. They act as middle men between you (the shopper) and a website (the merchant). You can monitor your accounts through both programs, and you can speed up your purchases online. The reason I think PayPal still has the advantage is because it allows money to be transferred from one user to the next. It is not exclusively built for shopping. PayPal also offers invoicing solutions and the ability to load money into an account from your bank. Nevertheless, V.me is still a fantastic program with a lot of potential for the future. If you purely need something to store your credit card information online, this is it.
How to Sign Up
If the details above has convinced you to use V.me, feel free to sign up here. The program is free to use, and registration doesn't take long. If you'd prefer sticking with PayPal or some other online payment processor, that is perfectly fine too. V.me just gives you a new option to think about. It's nice to see that no matter what now, you have a way to protect your information on the internet.