Card giant Visa Inc. is expanding its V.me by Visa digital wallet from its beta stage, announcing that more than 50 financial institutions, as well as nearly two dozen merchants, will be offering their customers access to the product.

V.me is Visa's entry into the increasingly crowded digital wallet space. It gives consumers the ability to shop across online sites, by either computer or mobile device, without having to enter payment credentials and billing or shipping information.

As with most digital wallets, the hope is that by offering payment by V.me, merchants can simplify the checkout process, reduce shopping cart abandonment and increase conversion rates.

"Whether you’re shopping for holiday gifts or shopping for yourself, V.me is now available to anyone in the U.S. looking for a more simple, secure, and personal online shopping experience," said Jennifer Schulz, global head of eCommerce, Visa, in an announcement.

"V.me is built around a single concept: to help people shop online simply and securely," Schulz said. "We understand that need and believe our long-standing relationships with financial institutions, merchants and acquirers put Visa in a strong position to deliver the very best digital wallet experience."

According to Visa, its new relationships with FIs and merchants means that 55 million cardholders can now enroll their payment cards — and not just Visa-branded cards — through V.me and begin shopping online. Some notable financial institutions named in Visa's announcement include U.S. Bank, BB&T and PNC, as well as a number of large regional banks. The list includes a large number of credit unions as well.

Online merchants who will now accept V.me include 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Shoebuy.com, cooking.com and Buy.

For more stories on this topic, visit the mobile/digital wallet research center.

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