Visa Steps Up Its M-Wallet Game With New Partnerships

The jam-packed mobile wallet industry is getting a little more crowded.

Visa has taken a major step towards cementing itself as a force to be reckoned with in the mobile wallet wars, adding PNC as its first U.S. banking partner and 1-800-FLOWERS as its largest retailer to date.

For PNC “Virtual Wallet” users, the Visa “V.me” wallet integration is huge. Consumers can now make purchases through Virtual Wallet by using a name-plus-password authentication system that will prevent users from manually entering card information with every purchase or transaction.

That makes Virtual Wallet fast, secure, and a direct challenge to the like of MasterCard’s PayPass, eBay’s PayPal and others in the mobile wallet arena that operate similarly.

Virtual Wallet will be available to 1.2 million users initially and should expand to 6.3 million by 2013. And according to Tech Crunch, other banks will follow in PNC’s footsteps soon.

In addition to its PNC news, Visa also announced the addition of 1-800-FLOWERS.com to its digital wallet. The florist giant joins Buy.com, MovieTickets.com, BlueNile.com and others as some of V.me’s first major retail partners.

According to Visa’s full release, it sees the 1-800-Flowers deal as a means to further infiltrate an eCommerce market that’s predicted to see $327 billion in transactions by 2016.

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