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Visa Payclick moves in on Paypal down under

  • By Timothy Roberts
  • Wednesday, July 14, 2010

With a focus on digital content, Visa’s payclick system is now available in Australia (reports Computerworld) offering a micropayment service aimed at capturing the growing trend for consumers to purchase content online.

With digital content (such as music tracks) and digital objects becoming more prevalent, the real-life chip and pin terminals need to be supplemented with an on-line component, and this is Visa’s play. One advantage they will have over smaller smart-ups is their financial muscle to back up and guarantee the transactions. It’s also likely they’ll be able to leverage existing relations to have payclick adopted – at the Australian launch both Apple and Telstra are offering payclick as an option for iTunes and BigPond respectively.

The barely tapped market for online payments promises to be a multi-billion dollar market, and Visa’s early moves gives them clear commercial differences to options like Paypal.

The first is the sponsoring of an account by a parent or guardian of a child. Money can be loaded to the child’s account for online purchases from a “sponsor” account, which can share money with a number of accounts that are specifically linked. In this way online spending habits can be watched over, and the chances of a huge credit card bill being run up by mistake are significantly reduced.

Payclick is also an asymmetrical payment system. Unlike Paypal where an account can be used to send or receive funds with the money then shifted out to a bank account, payclick is very much a merchant/user relationship. This does make it feel more like a pre-pay card which you top up with funds, rather than a fully fledged online account, but this model has benefits, both in the oversight it can provide while budgeting, but also because any online attempts at fraud can only target a users payclick account, not the credit card account that sits behind it.

Providing trust in for small and online transactions is one of the major plus points of the payclick system, and while its adoption will materially help Visa, it will also help perception that online payments are safe and secure – which will help everyone in the industry.


Contributed by Ewan Spence