Targeting customers who may be afraid to use their debit or credit card or Internet banking service to shop online because of fraud concerns, the State Bank of India Ltd. has launched a virtual debit card.

State Bank accountholders may use the State Bank Virtual Card to shop at any online retailer that accepts Visa, a bank spokesperson tells PaymentsSource.

They can use the card (it’s actually just card information, with no plastic issued) only once, and they are not required to share details of the principal account with the merchant, he says. The issuer creates a new virtual card for each transaction, and cards expire within two days.

“This would negate the chances of fraud,” he says, citing the bank’s expectation that many consumers will use the virtual cards to qualm their security concerns. “The customer can create any number of cards at the same time.”

To obtain a virtual card, customers log in to their online banking account and click the “State Bank Virtual Card” option to generate a virtual card, the spokesperson explains. They then enter the required amount and select an account to have debited to fund the virtual card account, he says.

Customers would then receive an eight-digit password on their mobile phone, and, after successful validation, a card image with the card number, expiration date and other details display on the screen.

When shopping online, the customer enters the virtual card number, expiration date and password. The card is deactivated after the transaction is completed.

Only ICICI Bank is offering virtual cards to banking customers.

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