×

UK digital bank launches a ‘disposable’ virtual card that renews your details each time you pay to prevent fraud

  • Revolut's "disposable" virtual card wipes a user's card details and introduces new details each time they make a payment.
  • Card not present (CNP) fraud rose from 50 percent of gross fraud losses for European firms to 70 percent in 2016.
  • Revolut's app lets customers open a current account in 60 seconds, and offers currency exchange at the interbank rate.
Revolut

U.K.-based financial technology start-up Revolut has a new product aimed at tackling online card fraud.

The mobile-only banking service has unveiled a "disposable" virtual card that wipes a user's card details and introduces new details each time they make a payment.

Usually when people make an online payment, they enter card details which online retailers can sometimes hold onto. But fraudsters can use this data to make transactions.

According to data analytics company FICO, card not present (CNP) fraud rose from 50 percent of gross fraud losses for European firms to 70 percent in 2016. CNP fraud is a practice whereby a fraudulent transaction is made without a card being physically present. Revolut said it wanted to tackle this problem.

"There is this case where every online shop saves your card details to simplify transactions but your data can be compromised and your card details leaked," Vlad Yatsenko, chief technology officer and co-founder of Revolut, told CNBC in a phone interview.

"What happens (with the new feature) is, every time you make a transaction, we delete the card details so it's impossible to make any transaction after that."

Yatsenko said that big banks were "slow" to adopt new technologies that keep consumers safe from fraudsters.

Revolut's app lets customers open a current account in 60 seconds, and offers currency exchange at the rate that banks lend to each other. It has applied for a European banking license, following in the footsteps of a number of its peers in securing regulatory approval.

The company's new feature will work alongside its current security features, which include location-based security, the option to freeze and unfreeze physical cards and to disable functions like contactless and swipe payments.

Last year, the start-up introduced a feature that let users buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin.