Ordering products online can save lots of time and money compared to a trip to your local big box store, but there is one aspect of online shopping that can still be a time-waster — constantly entering payment and shipping information. That's especially true with smartphones and tablets where screens are smaller and touch-screen keypads are less amenable to rapid typing.
Visa Checkout offers a way to streamline the process. Checkout stores your payment information and allows you to pay for your order with a few clicks or screen taps. Although the service has Visa in the title, Checkout can be used with any valid major credit or debit card.
To get started, simply create an account at the Visa Checkout webpage. Enter your payment and shipping information for storage. After that point, look for VISA Checkout buttons on the websites of participating vendors. Click the Visa Checkout button to apply your payment information and complete the transaction without having to re-enter your information. For some cards, you may have an extra security prompt step through the Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode programs.
The current Visa Checkout vendor list includes many favorite apparel vendors like Old Navy, Under Armour, Athleta, Eddie Bauer, Neiman-Marcus, and the Gap. Other vendors include Staples, Ticketmaster, Pizza Hut, and the online stores of many networks including Showtime, NBC, CBS, FX, and A&E.
Isn't this similar to PayPal? It is, but VISA Checkout operates through a pop-up window instead of redirecting you to a separate login page as PayPal does. If all you want to do is make purchases with participating stores instead of using the other selling or money transfer services of PayPal, Visa Checkout is a convenient alternative to a PayPal account.
Checkout uses standard encryption methods and multilayer authentication to protect your information. However, you should still take the same precautions you would with any wireless transaction that includes your payment information. To maintain the greatest possible security, stick to secure wireless sites to make any mobile transactions and avoid free Wi-Fi hot spots.
Remember to update your information with any change of credit card, card number, or change of address, and keep in mind that any issues with fraudulent transactions or disputes about purchased items go back to either the card issuer or the merchant, not Visa Checkout.
Why is Visa entering this market to compete with PayPal and mobile wallet applications such as Google Wallet? Visa contends that the often-cumbersome process of entering payment information, addresses, and other information causes many people to cancel their purchases before completion. Up to 86% of mobile online shoppers and 68% of shoppers using a desktop fail to complete the transaction, according to Visa.
Frankly, this ignores people who price compare and wait to see the final price including shipping and taxes before completing a transaction. However, there's still a large number of shoppers who are either dealing with poor Internet connections or are too impatient to complete the purchase, and Visa Checkout is attempting to make the process as convenient as possible for them.
Whether you're impatient or not, Visa Checkout may be a good choice for you. Why waste time on online purchases when you don't have to?
If you want more credit, check out MoneyTips' list of credit card offers.