Visa takes on PayPal with secure P2P micropayments service

Known as Payclick, the service allows users of Visa debit and credit cards - subject to their card issuer's enrolment in the scheme - to generate payments from a few tens of cents upwards to users of other debit and credit cards.

The US version of Payclick - unlike the Australian service - appears to be restricted initially to Visa-to-Visa card transactions, although users will be able to address micropayments directly to a Visa card number, a mobile phone number or an email address.

It also remains to be seen whether payments will be allowed to anonymous (i.e. unregistered) pre-paid debit cards, although Infosecurity notes that the majority of pre-paid card issuers now require registration to activate the card.

Visa is working with CashEdge and Fiserv, two US companies that already provide logistics support to banks issuing payment cards.

CashEdge already has its own PopMoney service, which has around 200 financial institutions, whilst Fiserv operates the ZashPay e-money facility, which has around 500 banks and other financial businesses on board.

Although Visa is not commenting on the possibility it is targeting PayPal, some newswires have observed that, whilst PayPal has around 100 million accounts worldwide, Visa has more than 1.8 billion cards globally.

Announcing the Payclick service, Jim McCarthy, Visa's global head of products, said that, for 50 years, Visa has been working to simplify payments at the merchant point of sale and is now evolving its network capability to make it easier for our account holders to pay each other.

"Through our agreements with Fiserv and CashEdge, we can accelerate the delivery of new and innovative Visa payments services, and better enable financial institutions to extend these services to customers", he said.

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