Standard Bank has launched Africa’s first virtual card
ecosystem.
The launch comes in tandem with a partnership with Samsung to
support and enable the new Samsung Pay wallet, the bank said in
a statement on Thursday (2 August).
Head of Emerging Payments, Wendy Pienaar, said that 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,” she said.
“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,” she said.
According to Standard Bank, 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
its 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 local website, with
international support arriving at a later date.
“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,” said Pienaar.
“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.”
Samsung Pay
Standard Bank said that its Samsung Pay partnership also
signals a paradigm shift – allowing 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
said.
“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.”
“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,” said Pienaar.
“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.”