Though a full public release is probably a few months away, it appears that Visa is getting involved in the comparison shopping industry with a new initiative called Rightcliq, which is currently enrolling some early trial members.
Details are hazy at best right now but based on the Rightcliq terms of service, consumers will be able to use it to store credit card information and shipping addresses for online purchases with various web retailers. Rightcliq apparently will also let shoppers collect special offers from certain merchants as well and save product information directly from shopping portals.
Prior to this week, the last time we heard much of anything publicly on this new application was back in October.
“[Rightcliq] is an online shopping tool targeted to consumers that assists online shoppers by offering the ability to browse multiple merchants and select items consumers are interested in looking at in one central location, making comparison shopping easier,” Joseph Saunders, Visa’s chairman and CEO, said at the time during a conference call.
Saunders added that Rightcliq would also include an “auto-sell” feature that instantly compiles a shopper’s shipping and payment data for faster checkout and exclusive offers for Visa cardholders.
This kind of payment processing-comparison shopping tool would likely put Rightcliq in direct competition with PayPal, which currently boasts more than 81 million active accounts. While credit and debit cards are still the most frequently-used forms of payment for online purchases, PayPal is far and away the most popular alternate payment form. With Google’s and Amazon’s checkout features failing to grab a significant market share or put a dent in PayPal’s slice of the pie, clearly Visa sees an opportunity here and is taking advantage.
Still, analysts believe the company faces an uphill battle in trying to compete, particularly in making Rightcliq as efficient as the well-established PayPal. Anyone competing with Paypal would need to, at the very least, deliver a service with a large customer base that is cost-effective for retailers to employ, particularly smaller and medium-sized companies.
For now, Rightcliq is in what amounts to a testing phase, gathering user feedback to make tweaks and adjustments in the coming months. There could, however, be a more formal public announcement on the plan as soon as tomorrow when Visa executives gather in San Francisco for an Investor Day to discuss new products and the company’s financial health.
We’ll keep tracking this story as new developments arise.