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By 18 November 2020 | Categories: news

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South Africa’s largest digital bank, Capitec is expanding its digital offering to clients with the launch of a virtual banking card. According to the bank, the virtual card is a completely digital bank card that is saved on a client’s Capitec banking app. Like a physical card, clients can use it online, with Capitec noting it’s safer than a physical card as no-one can steal or duplicate it. 

“Online shopping and digital payments are growing exponentially every year. While savvy online shoppers will quickly take to the flexibility and ease of virtual bank cards, these cards can especially benefit all those who have been weary of online transactions in the past. For them, it can open up a new world of convenience, without having to worry about card fraud,” says Francois Viviers, executive of Marketing and Communications at Capitec.

“The virtual card is available to all our clients. They just have to activate it on our new banking app. They can then use their virtual cards to securely make payments and purchase products online. It can also be set as the default card for scan-to-pay transactions and loaded for payment onto apps such as Netflix, Takealot and Uber, safely and securely.”

Viviers says the need for safe and secure online transactions is now particularly top of mind for many clients as the COVID-19 pandemic made them more reliant on ordering and paying for products and services online. And with Black Friday and the festive season on its way, retailers are pulling out all the stops with advertising online deals. 

“This environment calls for more online shopping, even among clients who have never tried it before. We are grateful that we can provide them with an easy and safe way to shop.”

Added to the virtual card’s security benefits, is the ability to stop it immediately. “If a client has any security concerns, they can stop the virtual card in an instant and apply for a new one on our app. The virtual card’s limit can also be set by the client on our app, and can quickly be changed depending on the client’s need,” Viviers says. 

How it works

Capitec states clients can create their virtual cards on the Capitec app (see steps below). As the card is stored in the app, clients do not have to visit a branch to get their virtual cards. The virtual card is free to download and to use, and there are no virtual card fees. 

It is not a duplicate of the client’s physical debit card and has a different number and CVV. It is in fact a new, virtual debit Mastercard that is linked to a client’s Global One account. Clients can manage the virtual card and its limits on the Capitec app.

Steps to activate a Capitec Virtual Card:

1.      Sign in to the Capitec Bank app

2.      Tap Cards in the bottom tab bar

3.      Choose Virtual Card in the top-right corner

4.      Tap Add Virtual Card button, then follow the sign-up steps to complete.


Paying online

Clients can simply go onto the Capitec app to view the card’s details, where they can tap the virtual card image on the app screen and the back of the card will appear with the card number, expiry date and the security code.

To pay for online goods or services, these details (the number, expiry date and security code) should be entered as would normally be done with online purchases. The bank asks customers to remember to set an online shopping limit on the app to allow for the transaction to go through.

Security and convenience

Capitec further states the following:

·         Using a virtual card is safer than a physical card as the virtual card’s details are protected and kept on the Capitec app.

·         Virtual cards can be stopped immediately on the Capitec app and a new one, with a new number and CVV, can be created.

·         The client’s physical card will continue to work even if they stop the virtual card. There is no real link between the virtual card and the physical card, other than using the same transaction account.

·         If a client’s wallet or physical card is lost or stolen, the physical card can be stopped on the bank’s app and the virtual card will continue to work, which means clients are not stranded without any means of payment. 

·         Clients can set a different limit for their virtual cards on the Capitec app, which provides an extra layer of protection when using the card for online or scan to pay purchases.

·         As the virtual card is linked to the client’s Global One account, all activity shows up on their statement just like any other purchase, but the account number is never exposed.

·         When traveling, globally and abroad, clients don’t have the risk of the card being lost or stolen.

“We certainly expect the use of virtual cards to grow because of the safety and convenience they offer, but also because they bring about a new experience of comfortable and secure online payments to those who were reluctant to do digital transactions in the past,” Viviers concludes.

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