Just a few months after its launch, Easypaisa, one of the famous mobile-based branchless banking services has discontinued its virtual debit cards.
As we have previously reported, the Easypaisa virtual debit card offered a seamless way to make payments online subtracting the hassle of taking out a plastic card every time the user needed to complete a transaction.
The company informed the Easypaisa virtual debit card users that from 29th October they will no longer be able to use it for any online transaction
Sources privy to the matter have hinted that State Bank is concerned about the international payments through these cards which are disturbing the balance for national kitty. However, it is interesting that Faysal bank had also launched its Mobit Virtual Card a few weeks ago and no notice has been issued to stop the service yet.
Faysal boasts of becoming the first commercial bank in Pakistan to have launched such a facility for customers that can do almost everything the Easypaisa team touted about.
An official of another bank on the condition of anonymity disclosed that he was well aware of the pressure Easypaisa was facing from the very launch of this product and discontinuing such a disruptive product will support the banking status quo in Pakistan.
“Easypaisa’s virtual card is cheapest in terms of the dollar exchange rate which is haunting rest of the commercial banks and a subsequent pressure from the industry and a notice from the State Bank is understandable,” stated the banker.
Some 30,000 unique customers have used Easypaisa Virtual Debit Card till now, and Telenor has issued some 135,000 Virtual Debit Cards since its inception.
However, Telenor Bank’s spokesperson reverted with a statement, “We had to temporarily take the Virtual Debit Card product offline. The service will be back soon”.
Propakistani also reports that consumers had started abusing Easypaisa VDC on various online forums. Due to the flexibility of its creation, multiple virtual cards could be created quickly by any Easypaisa user and then discontinued only by tapping on the card.
The feature could have helped spammer by first using the card somewhere online and then discontinuing it later, especially in the case of Facebook where the card is charged after a certain period.
While communicating with customers about the shutdown of service, the Easypaisa team vowed to activate the product soon.
Telenor Microfinance Bank and Mastercard came together to create this tool which was secure as well user-friendly. Instead of offering a traditional rectangle plastic card, Easypaisa users could see the same card on their mobile screens which could be created in a few seconds.
The best thing about the Easypaisa virtual debit card was that it could be used wherever a Mastercard is accepted. So basically, students could pay registration fees for any foreign test or university via their smartphone without any worry as the system promised to ensure the cheapest currency conversion rate as compared to any other bank.
Apart from being virtual, the debit card was no different than any ordinary debit card and includedÂ all the relevant card details that were required to process an online transaction, such as the 16 digit PAN number, expiry date, and the CVV.
The Easypaisa virtual debit card user was free to create as many debit cards as he/she liked, set the spending limit, and delete or pause them without paying any charges.