FNB announced a virtual card in the middle of lockdown and we’ve been testing it since September, ahead of its imminent launch. However, it is not the first local offering. Standard Bank was first back in 2018, in partnership with Samsung Pay. Capitec unveiled one in November 2020.
FNB’s virtual card will be linked to a customer’s existing bank cards, available to all debit, credit or Fusion account holders. It is also available for business accounts. What makes FNB’s virtual card unique is its dynamic CVV (card verification value) that changes every hour. The virtual card will also have its own number, generated instantly on the app, along with a new expiry date, which has a lifespan of five years — compared to the three years of its physical counterpart.
The virtual card was created to combat fraud, and the changing CVV can only be accessed on the FNB banking app. It is also meant to eliminate the reliance on one time pins (OTPs) that have played a part in fraudulent transactions through cloned SIM cards. The bank has subsequently pushed OTPs to the FNB app primarily, with SMS being secondary.
We found the process of creating the virtual card straightforward. It is displayed alongside existing cards under account settings. There are no additional fees.
The card can be accessed and used immediately across online shopping platforms or for recurring payments like music streaming or cloud services.
FNB says the system is smart enough to know what a recurring payment is. My iCloud subscription has gone off for three months now without me worrying about the dynamic CVV, instead only needing one for my real-time purchases.
The virtual cards are also compatible with Scan to Pay on iPhone and Tap to Pay on Android.
If you think your details have been compromised, the virtual card can be immediately blocked or removed via the app, without worrying about replacing it as you would do with a physical card.
Switching to a virtual card is a no-brainer. It reduces the risk of getting cloned or being the subject of fraudulent transactions. In a world of data leaks, stay a step ahead of cybercriminals.
Cool factor 5/5
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 14 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ email@example.com