It’s never been simpler to shop online. Flowers, sneakers, food, diplomas – you name it, you can buy it online. Except you can’t, if you don’t have a credit card.
Two in three black teens in the US make purchases online, so retailers are aggressively growing their digital footprint, targeting consumers from all angles.
However, it’s not enough to retrofit the online shopping structures of developed countries to emerging markets. The bureaucracies of traditional banks and the requisite paperwork to open a bank account – let alone access a credit card – financially excludes mass markets. And online shopping is no exception.
Access without inclusion
“Shopping online might seem like the most comprehensively accessible modern tool, but it’s dependence on a personal debit or credit card makes it quite inaccessible for those at the bottom of the financial pyramid,” explains mobile banking expert Brian Richardson.
Richardson co-founded fintech innovator WIZZIT International and is dedicated to finding and building solutions to drive financial inclusion. The prerequisites for simply opening a bank account – which to those in the developed world might seem obvious – exclude those who need it most. Proof of residence, proof of employment, pay slips.
Financial security, purports Richardson, is a desperate need in third world countries. And online retail services are unfortunately built on the pre-existing structures of traditional banks.
“Physical retail spaces are shrinking as the convenience of online shopping up-ends the traditional notions of retail – even the unbanked should have access,” explains Richardson.
Cards for customer clicks
He believes the solution is a virtual card, a product the WIZZIT team has developed to meet the needs of the market. Launched in 2017, the virtual card looks set to bolster online purchasing innovation and completely disrupt the market.
The premise of the card, as explained by Richardson, is an ephemeral set of card details that can be used to complete digital transactions for a set and specific amount. The details self-destruct within a set time limit and can’t be reused, and the designated amount can’t be exceeded. It’s completely safe, efficient and convenient.
“The possibilities for a virtual card are endless. Not only does it financially include masses in emerging markets, it yields options for people to assign card details to a third party to purchase goods or make payments online – whether it’s a student without a credit card or anyone who’s reticent to use their credit cards online for safety reasons.”
More than half the banked population with credit cards are concerned about inputting their card details on websites. An ultra-secure virtual card totally allays these fears facilitating safe and secure online shopping.
Any bank can offer the technology as a value-add to their customers.