The days of the credit and debit card could be numbered following the release of a new service from Visa that could transform the way we pay for everyday items.
The payments giant has announced the launch of Visa Digital Solutions, which it says can turn any internet-connected device into a payments portal - meaning you could use your smartphone, laptop, smartwatch, or even Google Glass to buy items.
The company said that Visa Digital Solutions will make it easier for merchants to accept payment via a variety of new methods using the likes of wearables, but also through its gesture-based service Visa payWave, where a user simply places their card above a reader to pay for goods.
The new service also allows wider support for scan-to-pay methods, providing retailers with a new, secure option to accept a Visa payment by simply scanning a QR code on a smartphone screen.
The new service could well find its way into Apple's highly-anticipated iPhone 6 smartphone, heavily rumoured to be launching later this year, following speculation earlier this week that Visa had signed up to help Apple develop a mobile wallet service.
Alongside this, Visa also announced the rollout of Visa Token Service, a new tokenisation service that it says will strengthen the security of mobile payments. This includes replacing the 16-digit account information found on payment cards with a numeric substitute, meaning payment transactions will no longer need to include sensitive account information, and can also be stored on mobile devices, allowing further customisation through options such as loyalty cards.
Visa Token Service should be in place by September, the company said, and lead to faster and more cost-effective payments being rolled out by the end of the year.
Announcing the launch, Visa cited figures from analyst house Forrester Research which said that the value of commerce utilising mobile phones and tablets this year is expected to total $114bn in the U.S. alone, with the former taking a third of the total.
Sam Shrauger, senior vice president, Visa, said: "Visa Digital Solutions provides the standards, tools and services to turn any Internet-connected device into a secure vehicle for commerce.
"Smartphone manufacturers can securely load a Visa account within a device, merchants can directly embed Visa payment functionality into their mobile apps and financial institutions can offer mobile and online payments as part of their mobile banking applications."
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