The British multinational investment bank HSBC is initiating virtual debit cards for businesses in the UAE in a bid to make handling and distribution of cards much easier, quicker and safer.
The virtual debit cards which operate on Visa’s Payable Automation platform will be distributed electronically. The card functions by creating a unique number for each transaction so that the user’s account number is guarded, offering greater protection for the business from fraudulent activity. Payments are then debited directly from the corporate cardholder’s current account, the bank said.
“The pace of digital adoption by businesses in the UAE has accelerated over the past 12 months, with an increased demand for more flexible payment channels. HSBC is investing to create a bank fit for the future and that means availing of multiple digital options to suit the different needs of our corporate client base,” said Kailash Nair, HSBC’s regional head of commercial cards for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.
With the outbreak of COVID-19, the digital and contactless payments in the Middle East got surged fast-tracking its journey to reduce its reliance on cash. The region’s $200 billion digital payments industry is booming as local lenders transform its services to digital format to cater to its customer base.
“With the rapid adoption of digital B2B payments, we are seeing a great demand for innovations that help businesses increase back-office efficiencies, better manage cash flow and pay suppliers easily and securely. With the increase in remote working, businesses are looking for seamless, digital solutions to deliver directly to their employees’ mobile devices for immediate use.”
As per HSBC’s latest survey, 32 percent of high growth firms (those that expect more than 5 percent sales growth this year) expect technology-driven efficiencies to be a key driver for their recovery and 87 percent plan to invest in digital tools this year.