Even if you don't use PayPal to send money to friends, there's a good chance you've reached for their checkout button in online stores, which is tied to all of your payment information. It's simply easier than getting up and finding your wallet. Now, the major credit card companies -- Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover -- are joining forces for a checkout button of their very own, the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg report. And yes, it means the end of Masterpass and Visa Checkout, services that attempted to replicate the easy PayPal experience.
The idea is pretty simple: People will make more purchases if they can checkout easily. PayPal pioneered the concept of a digital wallet, which put all of your payment options behind a single service, and Amazon followed suit with its own checkout button. Really, it was only a matter of time until traditional credit card companies followed suit. But it's unclear when we'll see their unified checkout button. Bloomberg says Visa and Mastercard still hasn't discussed the offering with retailers, and they're hoping to work with the World Wide Web Consortium, which sets standards for browsers.
In addition to being faster, the new checkout button should be more secure. It'll use the token technology that Visa and Mastercard rely on, which creates a temporary digital ID for every purchase, instead of using your actual card number. That should cut down on fraud, as well as make it easier to keep your payment information up to date with online services (since the tokens will update when you get new cards).