Bank to launch disposable virtual cards to beat online fraud

Digital bank Revolut is to let customers pay for online purchases with disposable virtual cards from next week in a bid to prevent fraud.

Revolut customers will be able to create the cards, and the details will be destroyed and automatically regenerated within seconds after every transaction.

Users will be able to access their virtual card and regenerated details via Revolut's app.

The London-based firm said the technology would add an extra layer of security for online transactions and protect customers against online card fraud.

It has predicted that it will take 800 years to run out of the 16-digit numbers needed for every new virtual card.

Losses from "remote purchase" or "card not present" fraud, when a criminal uses stolen card details to buy something on the internet, over the phone or through mail order, fell by 5% to £409.4 million last year, while e-commerce card fraud totalled an estimated £310.2 million in 2017, according to the UK Cards Association.

Vlad Yatsenko, co-founder and chief technology officer at Revolut, said financial technology companies still had "a long way to go" to build trust and confidence with consumers.

He said: "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 and unfreeze cards.

"It will take approximately 800 years before we begin to run out of 16-digit card numbers, so we view disposable virtual cards as a sustainable, long-term solution to tackling online card fraud.

"And by automating this process, the customer experience is instant and stress-free."