First National Bank (FNB) has confirmed to that they will officially be launching their virtual card service on Monday November 16. The product was first announced in July 2020, and the bank had said it would roll out this service to customers over the following few months.
Confirming to MyBroadband, CEO of FNB Card Chris Labuschagne said they had taken the time to ensure that the customer experience was perfect. He noted that the bank had run a pilot with staff and a selection of journalists and said this had been a success. “We are happy with approval rates and the customer experience feedback we have received. It has gone really well,” said Labuschagne.
The launch of this virtual card service will coincide with Black Friday, which is why it has been critical that this service is fully polished and functional before launching it to the public.
How it works
FNB said customers will be able to create as many virtual cards as they want at no cost.
The virtual card will use a dynamic CVV number that changes every hour. This ensures that if a CVV gets into the wrong hands, it will soon become useless to the malicious party.
FNB also noted that nobody will ever be able to view the three important payment details – card number, CVV, and expiry date – at the same time within the app.
This virtual card can be used in a variety of ways, including for online shopping, to pay for subscriptions such as Netflix and iTunes, and for scan-to-pay services.
It will support both domestic and global spending, and due to there being no limit on the number of virtual cards you may create, users will be able to create a virtual card for each subscription or online store they use.
Labuschagne explained that the ability to create virtual cards for each subscription service and online store will remove the inconvenience users currently face if their physical card is compromised.
Users have historically used their physical card details for a number of subscriptions and online stores, which means if they replace their physical card, they must also change the billing details for each of these subscriptions to those on the new physical card.
This is not the case if you allocate a unique virtual card to each subscription, however – both because the CVV changes every hour, and because you would be using other virtual cards for your other subscriptions and spending.
FNB noted that tap-to-pay functionality will not be available upon launch, and it predicted this would be added in either the first or second quarter of 2021.
The bank also noted that FNB will also be sending One Time Pins (OTPs) to virtual card users through the FNB App, rather than via SMS.
This is because SMSs are sometimes delayed, or the wrong OTP is received, which FNB said causes customer frustration.
In contrast, in-app OTPs will offer a more streamlined and reliable payment process that removes the above frustrations.
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