Standard Bank recently launched Africa’s first virtual card ecosystem, which lets users create a virtual bank card.
The Standard Bank virtual card is accessible through the bank’s mobile app, with several card options on offer.
This includes co-branded cards with one of its ecommerce partners – including Takealot, Travelstart, and Zando.
“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,” said Standard Bank.
To see how the system works, we signed up for a virtual card using the Standard Bank app.
Creating a card
To create a card, open the banking app and go to the More option at the bottom of the screen.
Once you have accessed the menu, go to Explore Products > Virtual card, and click Get Started.
A “virtual card” tile when then appear on the home screen of your banking app.
Pick a card
When you access the virtual card tile on the app, you are presented with several options for a card.
These are split into a generic virtual card, and several store-only cards.
The cards on offer at the time of writing were:
- Admyt – Smart parking services
- Zando – Online clothing store
- Travelstart – Travel provider
- Takealot – Online shopping
- Generic Card – Use at any online store
Create your card
For the test we created a generic virtual card.
Once you have clicked on the Create button, you are sent an OTP from Standard Bank to confirm the creation. Our OTP was sent via SMS.
After you have entered the OTP, you are taken to a Mastercard SecureCode screen. You are then required to create 5-digit security code for the virtual card which may be required when making online payments.
The details of the card are then created and displayed to you, including your virtual card number, an expiry date, and a CVV number.
This menu also contains the options to cancel the card, view transactions, and top up or withdraw funds from the card.
To top up the card with money, you click on “top up” and can then send money from your bank account or credit card to the virtual card. Once the funds are allocated, they display in the virtual card’s balance section.
It must be noted that only one generic virtual card is allowed at a time, according to the Standard Bank app.
One we had topped up the card with R500, we went to Takealot to test how an online purchase would work.
We selected a very cool gym bag and water bottle which came to just over R400, and then navigated to the checkout menu.
A delivery fee was added on, and the total came to R461.
Paying for the order using the virtual card worked the same as it would if paying with a physical credit card.
We selected the credit card option, entered the card number, expiry date, and CVV number.
For the “name on card” option, we took an educated guess and entered the name that appears on the physical banks cards linked to the Standard Bank account – as there is no name on the virtual card.
This all worked perfectly after clicking on pay, after which we were taken to a Mastercard SecureCode screen.
What makes the virtual card cool is that it uses this SecureCode – which we created earlier when setting up the card – as a two-factor authentication method to confirm a payment.
This means you do not need to enter your cellphone number or email address to receive an OTP to confirm a purchase, an action common with traditional credit card usage.
The Standard Bank virtual card system is a great piece of technology and it all worked perfectly during our brief test. It provides easy use and security, and means you do not have to have a physical card with you to make an online purchase.
The ability to top up or withdraw funds also gives users peace of mind that over-spending will not happen on the card.