Visa and SCX Global have just launched an awesome new virtual card for those who still don't like the idea of dropping their credit card details online. More of a virtual debit card, the Visa Virtual Prepaid (or VCARD) works by letting you buy a card with whatever value you want on board (plus a $5.50 setup fee). Pay now, buy later.
You can buy these online, but of course that defeats the point for many this is targeted toward. So you can buy at your nearest Mobil/Quix and then activate the details online. You get a card number, expiry date, and three-digit security code. All smartly delivered part online, part via SMS or email, for extra security.
These are proving popular overseas, with Visa claiming over 100,000 active customers in Ireland where the concept has been live for about two years (and that's around 15% of the Irish online buying population).
I'm fine with using my card online, but I know this will be a big winner with many older folks - and with no credit checks, bank accounts, etc involved, I can imagine plenty of anti-credit or bad-credit people will be keen on it too. Safe bet for buying from the seedier corners of the net, too. Use once, then dump and never use again? Could these be a tool in the grey markets and black markets of the future? [Virtual VCARD]