Buying stuff online should be so fast and fun that it resembles the experience offered by first-person shooters, in which as soon as one acquires a tool it is possible to start using it.
That's the professional opinion of Greg Storey, head of Visa's V.me service for Asia-Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Speaking in Sydney at the GeoNext conference, Storey said online shopping is mostly broken, as credit card payments take too long and are too complicated. That's good news for PayPal and has meant the likes of Google and Amazon have entered the payments industry. Visa thinks most such efforts can be dismissed.
PayPal, Storey said, has “laid a path for us to follow” and Visa will do so happily, knowing that it will not only satisfy consumers but put price pressure on its rival.
Google, he said, doesn't have the hard core banking background to make it as safe, in reality or punters' perceptions, as banks and those like Visa who have worked with banks for long periods of time.
“Google will be disruptive and that will be fun to you,” Storey said, “but they don't care about making money from payment. They just want to do a better job of winning consumer focus” and therefore serving more ads.
Visa's response is a platform called V.me, that it is hoped will eventually offer payments, loyalty schemes, rewards, coupons, comparison shopping, financial management and more, all delivered to the point of sale or mobile device.
The hope relies on developers, a group Storey said Visa has never previously courted, but will now do so vigorously so that vendors of e-commerce software tool up to bake V.me into their products. While Visa itself will of course be nourished by any success it enjoys, Storey thinks consumers will also enjoy the change, as he said a “very dated and simplistic approach was taken” towards the design of today's online payment system, resulting in most requiring six steps and over forty data fields to make a payment. Storey hopes to reduce that to two steps and four fields. If only fragging the average level boss was so easy. ®