MasterCard Canada launches virtual payment card

MasterCard Canada has launched MasterCard Virtual Solution, what the company calls the first virtual payment card for Internet, mobile commerce, mail order/telephone order and other remote and recurring payment purchases. The user does not require a physical card.

Craig Penney, vice-president and general manager for MasterCard Canada, said that while there are payment cards being promoted for online use, the reality is that they are physical cards that can be used both online and off-line and do not offer any additional security benefits.

MasterCard said its Virtual Solution provides a separate account number that can only be used when the cardholder is not physically present for a purchase or transaction. Consumers always have the option of obtaining a physical card for their virtual accounts if they desire. Customers also have the option of linking the

virtual card to their existing card account so they are issued only one combined statement, MasterCard said. An added benefit of the new virtual card is that it allows cardholders to provide family members, such as a child away at university or college, with unique accounts for remote purchases and online spending, the company said. MasterCard is providing this service through participating member financial institutions.

If a cardholder’s virtual card is ever compromised, the user will still have the primary card for making purchases or obtaining cash, Penney said, and this will provide cardholders with peace of mind when purchasing online or through other remote payment methods.