Friday, 19 March 2010

Launch of first virtual debit card in Japan

Credit card company Visa and the Japan Net Bank (JNB) have commenced a virtual debit card programme for online merchant payments, the country’s first.

The programme gives JNB customers the possibility to make purchases up to $1,000 at online merchants around the world that accept Visa. Upon customers’ request, JNB issues a unique 16-digit account number, which can withdraw money from a listed JNB account. The digital cards are only valid up to ten days after being issued - customers can then request a new virtual Visa Debit card number. No plastic cards will be issued. JNB, founded in October 2000, is Japan’s first internet bank, with over two million customers but no local branches. 

“Whether it is to search online or to spend online, Japanese consumers have named the internet as the number one item they could not live without”, said Brian McGrory, Head of Debit Products for Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa at Visa. “Teaming their passion for the internet with this ‘buy now, pay now’  program taps into an existing demand for Japanese consumers.”

Published earlier in E-Finance & Payments Law & Policy magazine, London,