Web-based commerce has grown massively in the past decade. But many consumers still have concerns about the security implications of providing their credit card details when making purchase on the web. Those concerns also feed into the broader issue of identity theft, a menace that has grown significantly in recent years.
In response to all these issues, Irish bank Permanent TSB is moving to introduce something called a virtual credit voucher. In layman’s terms, the product, which will be known as ‘3V’, is the world’s first pre-paid and disposable credit card. It is already possible to register for the card at www.3v.ie, though the entire system will not ‘go live’ until later this month.
Part of 3V’s appeal lies in its simplicity. Applying for the card is simple – the would-be user simply logs onto the website and supplies basic details such as their name, address and phone number. Because of the nature of the system, there is no need for the onerous completion of details relating to income and credit history.
Shortly after the application is made, the user will be mailed a small plastic card that looks somewhat akin to a normal credit card. The cardholder then buys credit from any store that is participating in the scheme. Credit can be purchased in denominations ranging from