FNB, one of South Africa's top 5 largest banks, has launched a Virtual Card product for individual and business customers. The South African bank announced during a virtual press conference on 29 July 2020 that the Virtual Card will be available to customers through the FNB App and the RMB Private Banking App from October 2020.

The idea behind the Virtual Card, a product that has been launched by various banks and Fintech startups around the world, is that customers do not require a physical card to make payments whether online or at point of sale devices (PoS) in physical shops. According to FNB, their Virtual Card will allow customers to use QR codes for payments via Scan Pay at PoS.

On the other hand, customers with FNB's Android app will be able to enable "Tap to Pay" in order to make contactless payments using their Virtual Card.

“FNB and RMB Private Bank customers can create and link their Virtual Cards to the transactional accounts they have with us. Customers have the flexibility to create multiple Virtual Cards for each transactional account to better manage to spend. They can also use the Virtual Card to pay digitally via Scan to Pay, Tap to Pay, or during check-out for online purchases. Our Virtual Card can be loaded on trusted websites or Apps for online shopping, as well as wearable devices for contactless payments,” said Raj Makanjee, Payments Executive at FNB.

Better security

One of the great benefits of virtual cards for both individuals and businesses is their enhanced security features.

With physical cards, whenever you make a payment online or at a physical store, you expose your card details and leaving that data vulnerable to be abused. With virtual cards, several security measures are implemented to avoid this.

For instance, with FNB's Virtual Card, as Chris Labuschagne, CEO of FNB Credit Card, put it, one of the key security features on our Virtual Card is a dynamic Card Verification Value (CVV) security number that changes every hour to help customers minimize the risk of fraud when shopping online.

“Our world-class encryption and security features may prompt customers to authenticate a transaction on the App to reduce reliance on OTPs which makes customers vulnerable to fraud. Spending via Virtual Cards will provide customers with the eBucks rewards earn they have become accustomed to. Additionally, the Virtual Card can be uploaded and used on various online subscription platforms such as iTunes, Google play store, Netflix, Spotify, and more. The expiry date is also longer than a physical card which allows the customer to keep using the card without being worried about an expiry period,” added Labuschagne.

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