Tech

Challenger bank Revolut brings out ‘disposable’ virtual cards

In an effort to combat payment fraud, challenger bank Revolut has launched single-use virtual cards.

When the details of a virtual Revolut debit card are used once to make an online payment, they will be destroyed and a new virtual card will automatically be generated.

The technology is aimed at preventing scammers from copying card details, and removes the risk that card details could be stolen from online databases.

Read more: Official UK crime statistics show increase in fraud cases and computer misuse offences

“While fintechs generally offer a better service than traditional banks, they still have a long way to go in order to build trust and confidence with consumers,” said Vlad Yatsenko, Revolut’s co-founder and chief technology officer.

“Instead of matching what the larger institutions are doing, we are changing the game entirely by introducing disposable virtual cards and promoting existing features such as location-based security and the ability to freeze/unfreeze cards.”

Firms such as Mastercard have explored the option of using fingerprint readers on cards, while other banks have enlisted the help of tech companies which can create a digital display for the card's security number which changes periodically.

In 2016, online card fraud totalled €1.8bn (£1.6bn) in Europe. A massive 73 per cent of this occurred in the UK and France.

The technology which erases and generates the virtual cards has been developed by Revolut in house.

Read more: MPs welcome regulator proposals to make banks spot fraudulent contactless payments

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