From physical to virtual cards
Credit cards were created in the 1950s, and with the arrival of smartphones, virtual cards became popular. Let’s review the history of cards and their possibilities.
Sixty years ago the first payment card was introduced and, since that day, the way we shop has changed to adapt to the era of e-commerce, bringing about a radical change in the way we pay. The way we consume is constantly changing, specially with the increase in e-commerce, following the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, as can be seen in the study carried out by Kantar, which states that 3 out of every 4 Spanish households have made purchases online in 2020, and that these households will continue to shop online in 2021. Households that now shop online account for 74.4%, which has increased e-commerce consumers by 8.4% since 2017. As detailed by Kantar in its study, the remaining 26.6% of consumers are older people who commute to buy products themselves, as they prefer a personalised service. And just as the consumption model has changed, so has the payment model. Welcome to the era of virtual cards.
What are virtual cards?
Virtual cards are more secure cards, and unlike conventional payment cards, they are completely virtual. They are exclusively used for virtual purchases, but with the possibility to be used in physical establishments if you have the card linked to a wallet on your smartphone. The virtual card has a number, an expiry date, and a control number, as Rankia details. The financial website also states that the security controls of virtual cards are very varied. Some banks have a dynamic code that changes with each purchase, while others allow very few purchases to be made, and if there is money left on the card, this money is automatically returned to the account from which the card was recharged. Each customer is free to make a new virtual card whenever they need it, it’s as simple as that.
How was the virtual card born?
Since the world’s first payment card from Diners Club in 1950, the world of payment cards has come a long way, from the arrival of credit cards in Spain in the 1960s to virtual cards, according to Finanzas. A website specialising in finance reminds us that virtual cards were born with the arrival of mobile telephony, with the payment systems known as “wallets”.
How are they regulated?
The European regulation PSD2, the new European regulation on electronic payment services, came into force in September 2018, with the aim of reinforcing security for consumers with e-commerce payment systems. With this regulation, which has been in force for three years now, it can be said that something is changing in the way we make payments. In short, we can say that virtual cards are here to stay as another means of payment.
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