FinExtra reported late last week that Visa is launching a virtual debit card program in Japan.
What is this exactly?
It’s a credit card number, and all of the requisite security features to perform a transaction, but no plastic card. We’ve also seen this approach in programs like TPG Rewards’ “e-Movie Cash™” product. These products are very effective, and effecient – convenient for either online only situations (where you don’t need to swipe a card) or for consumer incentive programs that drive the winner to a specific retailer of group of retailers.
Pretty cool stuff – cost effective, easy to manage, and proving highly desirable to consumers – I’m sure as managing plastic card programs increases in cost and complexity we will be seeing more of these.