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(Pocket-lint) - V.me, Visa's digital wallet service, has officially launched in the UK after first being announced in April 2012.

The service will be offered initially through the Nationwide Building Society as a launch partner, with other major issuers to launch soon. It offers secure online payments and is effectively Visa's own answer to PayPal. You can store any of your debit or credit card details, not just those from Visa, and pay for online transactions via an internet browser on smartphone, PC or tablet.

Anybody can sign up for a V.me account online, not just customers of Nationwide, and one of the main benefits offered is a streamlined checkout experience through supporting retailers. more than 1,400 of them accept V.me by Visa today, including Currys and PC World, while others will be joining in the following months. Universal Music is one of those already announced.

READ: Visa V.me digital wallet to be accepted for payment by Currys and PC World

It is claimed that up to 4,000 merchants will accept V.me across Europe by January 2014.

"V.me by Visa gives merchants and issuers an acceptance mark that will work across Europe. Mobile phones, tablets and the use of digital payments have changed the nature of commerce: consumers want to be able to buy from the merchant of their choice via any device without sharing their card details," said Steve Perry, chief commercial officer of Visa Europe.

"That's why we’re working with our members and merchants to give them the benefit of V.me by Visa's scale and international reach."

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You can register for a V.me account at uk.v.me. Businesses can also visit the page to find out how to accept V.me payments.

It has also launched in France, Spain and Poland.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 27 November 2013.