UAE’s first independent digital banking platform launches ‘virtual card’

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The first independent digital banking platform in the United Arab Emirates has launched the region’s first virtual card, which it says will allow users to shop more securely online.

Dubai-based YAP, a neobank, launched in March this year under a partnership agreement with RAK Bank which provides international bank account numbers for YAP users and secures their funds under its own banking license.

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YAP’s virtual card has its own unique card number, expiration date, and a distinct card verification value (CVV).

Users can set spending limits by topping up their cards with the amount of money they plan on spending on a specific transaction. Users can simply stop adding money when they no longer want to subscribe to a service. Additionally, YAP users can create multiple virtual cards for shopping categories or website to ensure maximum security. The cards are customizable with different designs and colors.

Virtual cards are part of a series of features YAP is rolling out over the next few months, each of which are designed to create an easier digital banking experience for users. Since its launch earlier this year, YAP is now onboarding hundreds per day.

“We created virtual cards to give control back to the card holder and to make shopping online safe,” said Nada Hassan, YAP’s head of product experience and innovation. “A significant portion of online shoppers in the region have had bad experiences at some point shopping online, and virtual cards solve that problem.”

“Of all the features we are releasing, we have seen the most excitement and anticipation about our virtual cards, especially among our early users.”

Like other neobanks which do not have physical branches, YAP does not offer traditional banking services like loans and mortgages, but offers spending and budgeting analytics, peer-to-peer payments and remittances services and bill payments.

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