Late last year Standard Bank unveiled a new solution in the form of the Virtual Card.

The completely digital bank card allows users to shop online without having to use their actual credit card or debit card details, and was recently acknowledged for its innovative design during Africa Tech Week recently.

In particular the Virtual Card picked up the award for Tech Invention of the Year.

As for why the Virtual Card was viewed as being truly innovative, it addresses three main reasons as to why many people on the African continent shy away from shopping online – security, control and trust.

“Our customers are at the heart of what we do at Standard Bank and we’re always striving to find solutions that will make life easy and convenient for them,” says Lincoln Mali, head of Group Card and Emerging Payments at Standard Bank.

For those unfamiliar with the Virtual Card, it’s available via the Standard Bank mobile app, and is designed to remove friction between users and their online shopping experience, says the financial services provider.

It does this by only allowing users to load money for the amounts they wish to use while purchasing online sans credit or debit card details.

It has clearly proved quite popular as Standard Bank notes that it has created 27 000 cards since it was first introduced.

“With Virtual card, Standard Bank aims to open online shopping and more broad digital experiences to all our customers in the near future,” concluded Mali.