A Mobile Commerce Edge


ICBA Bancard helps community banks ‘Checkout’ Visa’s e-payments option

By Scott Broughton

With assistance from the ICBA Bancard electronic payments services program, community banks have a new secure payments option that can help position them to compete in the mobile commerce space.

Launched in late summer, Visa Checkout is a new take on online payments, and while some perceive the new platform as a rebranding of V.me, Visa says it is an “online credit card” versus a “digital wallet.” Semantics aside, Visa characterizes Visa Checkout as a payments option that provides community banks with a co-branded online credit card on which consumers can load multiple cards, as well as a platform that community banks can use to simplify the online shopping experience and secure the purchase process.

Visa Checkout Marketing Tools
ICBA Bancard provides its community bank customers with a comprehensive marketing toolkit for creating a marketing plan to promote the Visa Checkout payments option. The toolkit offers information on four areas:

  1. Visa Checkout overview—Learn more about features and benefits for cardholders.
  2. Marketing tools—Get consumer research and positioning insights.
  3. Awareness and enrollment—Access tips and tools to help maximize adoption.
  4. Usage—Strategies to make your community bank’s card and Visa Checkout preferred online payments tools.

For more information about Visa Checkout, visit www.icbabancard.com/visacheckout.cfm.

Visa Checkout is a welcome addition to the portfolio of card services at $1.9 billion-asset Texas Bank and Trust Co. in Longview, Texas. “Visa Checkout gives us the opportunity to tie the [payments platform] into the card services we already offer,” says Karen Partee, the bank’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “We have been a Visa provider for 20 years, offering Visa credit, check card and gift cards.”

Community banks see a twofold advantage to the payments platform. “Visa Checkout provides brand awareness for our bank and reinforces the association with our card in our customer’s physical wallet. With our card art being displayed in the mobile wallet, we reinforce our branding throughout enrollment, registration and purchase,” says Credit Card Relations Manager Maria Corradi at $549 million-asset American Bank of the North in Hibbing, Minn.

“If the customer designates his or her community bank’s credit or debit card as their preferred method of payment, he or she will see the bank’s brand image during checkout at a merchant’s site,” says Benzion Axelrod, an executive at Visa.

ICBA makes signing up for Visa Checkout easy for its members. Community banks that elect the co-brand option and sign up for the service through ICBA Bancard will receive help with the card art upload process. Working through ICBA, a member bank gets quicker access to the card upload process than it would get if it approached Visa independently.

While branding is one benefit of Visa Checkout, community banks value the security benefits it affords consumers. American Bank of the North’s Corradi explains, “Visa Checkout simplifies the online shopping experience for our customers. They have multiple payments options within Visa Checkout and don’t have to enter their payment information each time they shop online where Visa Checkout is accepted. It is convenient and saves time while also providing a secure way to pay online.”

“Visa Checkout strategically fits into how we are promoting our e-banking services,” says Partee. “The beauty of the service is that it is so easy; it simplifies online shopping and fits customers’ lifestyles. When we promote this option, we promote online card safety.”

“The payments landscape in the U.S. currently is undergoing significant changes. Various payment approaches are starting to remove the need for the physical card at the point of sale,” says Corradi. “Visa Checkout is bank-focused versus other mobile wallets out there. It has the potential to become a strong competitor in the mobile commerce space with Visa’s market share, brand familiarity and cash flow.

“By offering this service and partnering with Visa, we can reinforce the perception of our community bank as a payments technology leader.”

Scott Broughton (scott.broughton@icba.org) is ICBA Bancard’s senior vice president of card products and promotions.