Advertiser Disclosure

Visa Checkout: A Faster, Streamlined Way to Shop Online

You can use it for purchases on the web and within retailers’ apps, and you only have to enroll your card information once.
Credit Card Basics, Credit Cards
With so many websites offering free financial tools, it can be hard to know whom to trust. At NerdWallet, we spend literally 1,000s of hours researching partner offers and following strict editorial integrity to match you with the perfect choice. We even share how we make money so you can enjoy our expert advice and researched recommendations with total clarity and confidence.
what-is-visa-checkout

How we pay for stuff continues to evolve. EMV chip cards and digital wallets are transforming the shopping experience, and now credit card networks themselves have gotten in on the act with Visa Checkout and Mastercard Masterpass.

Visa Checkout is a payment platform that allows you to enroll card information and addresses once, and then use it to shop online and within retailers’ apps.

“In the e-commerce world, consumers faced the problem of having to enter their information on each retail site,” said Vish Shastry, vice president of digital solutions at Visa. “We built Visa Checkout to solve that, especially in the mobile world.”

How to set up Visa Checkout

To get started, visit the Visa Checkout site and create an account, entering your name, your email address or mobile number, your country location and a password. You’ll also be asked whether you want Visa Checkout to remember your username and whether you want to be notified about promotions.

You can store cards from Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover.

Next, enter your credit or debit card information, including the security code, your billing address and one or more shipping addresses. You can store cards from Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover.

Finally, you can set security questions for greater safety. When you submit, you’ll receive an email or a text to your phone for confirmation.

How to use Visa Checkout

Once your card is registered, you can start using Visa Checkout online, as long as the retailer accepts it. Say you’ve filled your online cart at Walgreens.com. When you go to your cart, you’ll be offered the option to pay with Visa Checkout. Choose that and a small login screen for Visa Checkout will hover over the retailer’s page. You log in and choose which enrolled card you want to use. Back on the retailer’s site, your information is filled in and you finish your purchase.

When you use Visa Checkout, you don’t feel like you’ve left that experience at the retailer.

Vish Shastry, vice president of digital solutions at Visa

“When you use Visa Checkout, you don’t feel like you’ve left that experience at the retailer,” Shastry says.

On a smartphone, Visa Checkout is not an app; it works within a retailer’s app. For example, Shastry says Visa has partnered with Papa John’s and Pizza Hut for the 2017-18 NFL season for quick orders. Hungry fans just open the Papa John’s app on a smartphone, order pizza and use Visa Checkout to complete the transaction.

Users of the Android Pay digital wallet also have access to Visa Checkout for mobile shopping, meaning they could authenticate and complete purchases with a fingerprint.

Security and incentives

Besides convenience, Visa Checkout offers greater security for “card not present,” or online, transactions. According to Visa, the service’s security capabilities “contributed in Visa Checkout’s fraud volume as a percentage of sales being 63% lower and its fraud count as a percentage of transactions being 56% lower than non-Visa Checkout volume at top Visa Checkout merchants.”

And behind the scenes, Visa is watching, too.

“We look at the consumer [making the transaction],” Shastry says. “Is the consumer coming from the right country? Are there multiple logins from the same computer? When you swipe or dip or tap, we know this card was just used in San Francisco. So if it’s used in Florida later that day, we’ll know there might be a problem.”

If your enrolled Visa card is compromised and you’re issued a new card and number, Visa Checkout automatically updates the cards. You don’t have to delete the old card and register a new one.

To encourage cardholders to use Visa Checkout, some merchants are offering incentives or rewards. For example, you might get $10 off when you spend $50 or more at Walgreens.com using Visa Checkout.

The bottom line

With mobile devices becoming essential to daily life, being able to make purchases quickly and securely makes sense. Simply enrolling your cards in a digital wallet may offer the convenience that you’re looking for. For online or mobile shopping specifically, Visa Checkout may help you complete transactions faster, especially at retailers where you don’t already have an account.

However, at this point, Visa Checkout isn’t offered everywhere, so your opportunity to use it may be limited. Also, while Visa Checkout might speed up your online shopping, you may want to consider different digital wallet options for your brick-and-mortar shopping, at least for now. Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay already boast wide point-of-sale acceptance at many retailers, and those wallets, too, claim to offer secure transactions, via tokenization.

Have you used Visa Checkout? Tell us about your experience.

About the author