But none of that may matter, because Visa is counting on the banks to promote V.me to their customers. Yes, the same banks who have sent millions of contactless cards to their customers without telling them they were contactless cards—that's who Visa believes can convince cardholders to use a service they've never heard of instead of PayPal and Amazon. The likelihood they'll ever hear about it in a meaningful way from their card-issuing bank? Just slightly less than V.me's infinitesimal chances.
Visa officially went live with its V.me online payment service on Tuesday (Nov. 13), and there's a lot to be underwhelmed about. After a year of testing the service—in which customers type in a login and password at an E-Commerce site and have all their payment and delivery information automatically filled in—V.me's marquee E-tailers are Buy.com and 1-800-Flowers.com, along with about two dozen more. Visa has also lined up 50 banks (the best known is U.S. Bank) with a total of about 55 million card customers.