Nationwide digital wallet speeds up online shopping
Nationwide has launched a digital wallet with the aim of making online purchases "faster, easier and more secure".
The building society has teamed up with Visa Europe to introduce V.me, which enables customers to link multiple cards (debit and credit) into a digital wallet.
The payment information is safely stored, "enabling customers to make future purchases without the need to repeatedly enter their card details", Nationwide explained in a statement.
It added that card details not passed on to individual merchants is what makes V.me – the first digital wallet to be offered by a bank or building society in the UK – faster and more secure.
Steve Perry, chief commercial officer for Visa Europe, said: "The wallet can already be used at over 1,400 online merchants, including household names like Curry's and Clarks. By Christmas there will be more than 4,000 places where you can use V.me by Visa in the UK, and more across Europe."
Payment company PayPal believes digital wallets will be the next big innovation in financial services. PayPal and eBay's spokesperson Adrian Christie recently said: "If you look at payments innovation, such as the credit card in the '50s and the ATM in the '80s, we really haven't seen much change," he said.
"But, digital wallets will be as big an innovation as credit cards and ATMs, and it is evolving really quickly and will not be in the form factor that we see today."
Nationwide customers can register for V.me instantly, here.
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.
This is a mutual organisation owned by its members and not by shareholders. These societies offer a range of financial services but have historically concentrated on taking deposits from savers and lending the money to borrowers as mortgages, hence the name. In the mid-1990s many societies “demutualised” and became banks. One academic study (Heffernan, 2003) found demutualised societies’ pricing on deposits and mortgages was more favourable to shareholders than to customers, with the remaining mutual building societies offering consistently better rates. In 1900, there were 2,286 building societies in the UK; in 2011, there are just 51.