Visa to trial m-payments digital wallet in US

There’s one phrase that never fails to depress the life out of us at Business Mobile and that is “digital wallet.” If we had a pound for every time we’d been told that the the digital wallet will replace the real wallet, and that it will make e-commerce, m-commerce etc more secure and make it easier for the end user, then we’d be very very rich people indeed. All of the biggest companies – Microsoft included – have attempted it in the past and none of them have succeeded, so it’s with a heavy heart that we announce yet another “digital wallet”.

The latest entrant to the fold is Visa and Bank of America. According to reports from Reuters the largest US consumer bank, the Bank of America, is to team with Visa on a test program next month aimed at creating a ‘digital wallet.’ Reports claim that the duo will trial the service in New York until the end of the year, aiming to let customers use smartphones to pay for purchases in stores.

Bank of America, which introduced mobile banking in 2007, has more than five million customers conducting US$15 billion in transactions via their phones – primarily bill payments and account transfers. Reuters notes that the numbers are small compared with the bank’s 29 million online banking customers, who conduct 1.5 billion transactions electronically. Visa, the world’s largest payment processor, also plans to conduct a similar test program with US Bancorp this year, from October.

The moves follow comments from Visa in February when it said that it planned to start testing technology that would allow customers to make in-store payments using smartphones.

We wish them the best of luck, but the chances of them being able to pull this off, when so many have failed in the past are slim. For some reason consumers seem to be happy enough to share their credit card details with multiple sites across the web, but putting all their details in one place, no matter who it’s with, just doesn’t seem to work.

If you have any clues or theories as to why it doesn’t work, feel free to share..