Visa Europe has announced its annual results and with them revealed a number of interesting statistics from last year, while predicting healthy growth for its electronic services into 2013 and beyond.
Not only has the company highlighted a massive growth in e-commerce spend in 2012 - most notably during the Christmas period - but it also claims that its V.me digital wallet will be accessible to 80 per cent of UK consumers through their own banks before the end of 2013.
V.me is Visa's answer to PayPal. It is a digital payment system whereby you can use any of your credit or debit cards - not just Visa branded - to pay for items online or at contactless payment vendors. It allows you to store the shipping and billing information just once, and check out in as simple a fashion as possible.
Pocket-lint previously reported that RBS and Nat West customers will be first to be offered access to V.me, with a rollout expected to start in the spring. It now seems that almost all other banks will follow soon after.
Visa has high hopes for V.me, predicting that a third of all consumers will be using the digital wallet by 2020.
The company also expects contactless payments to become more popular over the next year. In 2012, contactless transactions quadrupled in the UK, and Visa predicts that the number will quadruple again in 2013. By the end of the year there will be 33.7 million contactless payment cards in circulation in the country with 175,000 compatible terminals. There will also be 80 different types of smartphones certified by Visa to make contactless payments - iPhone 5S or 6 anybody?
Another interesting statistic released by Visa is that, after only a month of the service opening, more than100,000 contactless payments have been made on London buses - 93 per cent of those, says Visa, by its own cards.
Online shopping accounted for 200 billion euros spent on Visa cards in 2012, with e-commerce spend growing more than three times faster than face-to-face payments. Christmas e-commerce shopping grew 19 per cent year-on-year.