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Chams, Skye Bank launch Nigeria’s first virtual card


skye-bank-plcChams Mobile Limited, a licensed Mobile Money Operator, and Skye Bank Plc, have launched the first Virtual Visa Card in Nigeria. The virtual Visa card is an entirely digital payment card for online and mobile use, both locally and internationally.

The card is unique in that cardholders get a full card image (the Virtual card) on their mobile device, personal computer or tablet, with a plastic card as an optional offering.

The new payment system is expected to expand financial inclusion to millions of Nigerians by offering a low cost mobile banking solution, as the card is issued free and linked to a broad range of financial services.

It also offers an online payment alternative for eCommerce savvy individuals, small businesses and corporate companies, membership associations, and more The new Visa Virtual card is available under the Kegow brand at Kegow is the program and card brand of Chams Mobile Ltd.

The Deputy Managing Director Chams Mobile, Gavin Young, said that he was excited to partner with Skye Bank and Visa on this unique and ‘First in Nigeria’ payment solution, which was developed with the company’s international joint venture partners Bancore AS (as the mobile financial services processor) and Global Technology Partners (as the Visa prepaid card processor). “It’s unique in that customers actually see an image of their card on their mobile phones, tablets and PCs, whereby all the essential features of a physical card are shown in it’s ‘Virtual form’; card number, expiry date and CVV number, for example.

This, for many customers, negates the need for a physical plastic card, although we offer plastic cards as an option for customers requiring such,” he said. Gavin noted that e-commerce savvy users could shop securely online by loading funds from a bank account or any other financial card.

For those without a formal banking relationship, he said they would have the means to make their money work for them and move towards financial inclusion. “It’s also a very diverse product with a number of applications across various business and consumer segments.

These include: co-branded cards for eCommerce companies, gift cards (as money can be credited to a recipient’s mobile phone), a naira card for Nigerians in diaspora as it can be issued online, a company allowances card and, as a payment card for retail distribution as it’s supported with a unique invoicing service,” Gavin said.

He described the card as much more than a mobile or digital wallet, as it bridges the gap between traditional mobile wallets and bank accounts by offering a low cost Visa card accepted in Nigeria and abroad, and is linked to a full range of financial services.

This he said facilitates easy online transfers to and from bank accounts, purchasing airtime, paying bills, and much more. “To make the product even more secure and convenient, we have introduced another first in Nigeria, by offering a One-Time-Password ‘Verified by Visa (VbyV)’ service that replaces the old VbyV PIN service.

This means that every process, from application to receiving the card, can be done entirely online from a mobile phone, tablet or PC in under 15 minutes,” he added.

Head, E-Channels, Skye Bank Plc, Akinwale Ojo, said: “The bank chose to work with Chams Mobile, and its card processing partner GTP, based on careful consideration of the benefits all parties could bring to the table and in consideration of how the bank could best serve the millions of Nigerians with this product, and particularly those who may be financially excluded, requiring a low cost yet fully inclusive financial services offering.”

Country Manager for Visa in West Africa, Ade Ashay, stated: “Our strategy of bringing world class innovation to Africa continues to make shopping online and via traditional channels much more convenient. Visa’s Virtual Card will make a real change to the lives of Nigerians by helping them to safely access the digital economy and participate in ecommerce.”

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