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Virtual Card, a new benchmark in the world of digital payments

August 6, 2018 • Finance, Top Stories

The virtual card is designed to remove any friction from the customer’s online experience and is accessible through the Standard Bank’s mobile app

The virtual card is designed to remove any friction from the customer’s online experience and is accessible through the Standard Bank’s mobile app

Standard Bank, one of Africa’s largest bank by assets, is setting a new standard in digital payments with the launch of Africa’s first virtual card ecosystem.

This launch comes in tandem with a partnership with Samsung to support and enable the new Samsung Pay wallet as the bank’s drive to enrich its customer’s digital experiences in the traditional retail and e-commerce gathers momentum.

Head of Emerging Payments, Wendy Pienaar, says the virtual card ecosystem has already undergone a comprehensive testing phase and is on-boarding a string of leading partners to accelerate customer’s participation in e-commerce.

“At the moment, very few South Africans shop online and those that do, tend to use a credit card or only pay cash-on-delivery. Trust, security and control are some of the reasons for this trend. However, a safe, secure virtual card completely changes the conversation. It allows customers to shop online irrespective of the type of card or account they have. This new solution puts customers in the driver’s seat as they only load the amounts they want to use,” says Pienaar.

The virtual card is designed to remove any friction from the customer’s online experience and is accessible through the Standard Bank’s mobile app – where it can be created and loaded in a matter of seconds, topped up at any time and used on an ongoing basis. The card can be a Standard Bank card or co-branded with one of our e-commerce partners, which range from Takealot.com, Zando, Travelstart and Admyt, with others like Uber set to be linked up soon.  The virtual card can be used on any websites, locally now and soon internationally.

In South Africa, only about 2% of retail spend is online – but that is likely to change as more consumers find solutions with partners they can trust. A safe, reliable and convenient virtual card will quickly see this trend turning around.

“Because the majority of customers are not shopping online, we want people to have their online shopping experiences in an environment where they feel safe and have control over their transactions. As we partner with more local and international partners, we will begin seeing customers embracing the digital offerings that are out there – from buying flowers online to that latest gaming app subscription,” says Pienaar.

“We want to make sure that a Standard Bank’s payment solution becomes the preferred choice for digital experiences – it can be plastic, virtual, tap to pay, or Samsung Pay. Customers retain their plastic, but we are making sure people who want to go beyond normal cards, can now participate in an exciting online shopping world which is getting bigger every day – online and on your phone,” says Ethel Nyembe, Head of Card Issuing in South Africa.

The Samsung Pay partnership, meanwhile, signals a paradigm shift in the way consumers will be able to pay for goods with their phones in the real world at pay points – it enables both Samsung phone users and Standard Bank customers to pay with their smartphones at their favourite retail store, in South Africa, wherever the MasterCard or Visa tap-to-pay logo is displayed.

This functionality applies to new and recent Samsung phone iterations, but is extremely user friendly, with a picture of a card safely and securely digitising the card on the phone. It means users no longer need to take a card out of their pockets or carry a wallet – they can simply use their fingerprint or iris and tap at the point of sale.

Together with other innovations like Snapscan and Virtual Card, Samsung Pay broadens the bank’s payment options significantly and offers the ultimate convenience of tap-to-pay payments from smartphones.

Pienaar says these recent innovations continue Standard Bank’s journey to becoming the leading digital bank on the continent, and the preferred payment solution for our customer’s digital experiences.

“Customers want the freedom to select and switch between channels for each step of their shopping journey: browse, compare prices, sample, try and eventually purchase and share on social networks.  They may have gone into a shop in the physical world to try out the product and then use Samsung Pay, credit card or Snapscan to buy it; or they may go home, order online and pay with a virtual card. We have many innovative payment options that fits this flexible approach to shopping, allowing the customer to safely and conveniently pay wherever their shopping journey takes them,” concludes Pienaar.

Edited by Neo Sesinye
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