By Paul Hoskins
If you've ever been nervous about using your credit card to order the
latest bestseller online or buy roses for a loved one over the phone,
an Irish bank thinks it has solved the problem.
Permanent tsb said on Tuesday it will launch the world's first
pre-paid, disposable credit voucher, opening up Internet and telephone
shopping to those previously put off by the security implications of
handing over their credit card details.
In the same way that owners of pre-paid mobile phones top up their credit at
shops, registered users of the new service will be able to buy vouchers for
between 20 and 350 euros at retail outlets.
Each voucher will carry its own unique number which can then be used
to shop online, by phone or by mail with any retailer who accepts
cards issued by Visa.
The scheme, which is the brainchild of Ireland's 3V Transactions
Services Ltd, also aims to attract those who do not hold traditional
"This new voucher will enable both sets of people to avail of all the
benefits of shopping online or on the telephone in a controlled,
prepaid way and without any security issues," said Niall O'Grady, head
of marketing at permanent tsb bank.
Alphyra -- an Irish-based processor of mobile phone payments and the
parent company of 3V Transactions Ltd -- said the consortium planned
to roll out the facility nationwide in the coming weeks before
targeting other European countries.
"Within the next 12-18 months we plan to launch the product in the UK,
Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Greece,
Romania, Poland, Austria and the Czech Republic," said Seamus Minogue,
head of financial services at Alphyra.
Permanent tsb, the retail banking arm of Irish Life & Permanent,
expects the idea to prove popular in Ireland, where 67 percent of
adults do not have a credit card and those who do incur an annual
government levy of 40 euros.
Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.
NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the
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http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/more-news.html . Hundreds of new
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I do not know why they are referring to
this as the "world's first disposable credit card". Those cards,
issued through banks with the VISA logo have been available here in
the USA for at least a couple years; here in our town, they are sold
as 'gift cards' by Commerce Bank and a couple other banks. You can get
them in various denominations and they make ideal gifts for someone
when you do not know what else to get the person. They're good anywhere
a VISA card is good. I've both received them and given them a few
times at Christ Mass over the past two years. PAT]