Et Tu, Brute? Visa To Compete With Retailers

First, Procter & Gamble and other major manufacturers started direct selling, undermining their longtime retail partners. Now comes word that Visa is setting up its own virtual shop to move products. What, Brutus, the sharp, 8-inch interchange dagger wasn't enough? You had to go for the jugular?

Visa's E-Commerce move, called Rightcliq, is actually a rather clever CRM move to collect more data on consumers directly. "Rightcliq will enable consumers to track their purchases in one convenient location. This removes the hassle of remembering tracking numbers, digging through confirmation E-mails or having to double-check delivery dates," a Visa statement said. "The information will all be stored in Rightcliq, giving consumers more control over their online shopping experience." And here's the unexpected kicker: The service will accept "other payment options, including competing brands." Visa is setting up an E-Commerce arena in which people can make purchases on their Amex card? That says everything that needs to be said about how much Visa values those extra CRM tidbits.