Visa to Launch Mobile Wallet in U.S. this Fall

Visa announced a broad mobile wallet service today that includes near field communication (NFC) and other technologies for making retail purchases and for allowing person-to-person transactions from wireless devices.

The project, with "click-to-buy" functionality, will launch in the United States 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 didn't elaborate.

Visa, the largest credit card processor in the US, already works with many US banks and will work with several others on the digital wallet system, including Barclaycard US, which had been listed as a founding member of the Isis system set up by three major US wireless carriers last fall. Under Isis, the carriers would provide a variety of wireless and NFC services. A pilot test of the Isis project is set for mid-2012 in Salt Lake City. Isis had Discover, the fourth largest credit card processor, in its initial founding members.

Other banks and financial institutions working on the Visa digital wallet 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.

(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 e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com .

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