[PARTNER CONTENT] Earlier this year in lockdown, FNB announced plans of its virtual card that will roll out to all debit and credit card holders, Fusion accounts, and business debit card holders. As an FNB customer, I was put on the virtual card trial and have been using it since September 2020. In case you missed my initial post, I wrote about the announcement here.

Fast forward to December 2020…

In partnership with FNB, I would like to tell you about how I’ve been using the virtual card. To give you context, I’ve been an FNB customer for over 30 years (i.e. my whole life; remember Junior Bob?) and love following their innovations. The difference today is that FNB approached me to share how I am using the virtual card and what my experience has been like.


– It is generated instantly on the app
– It is still tied to your main physical card but safer to use online etc
– You are given a new number, expiry date and dynamic CVV
– The dynamic CVV changes every hour and will phase out OTPs
– It is safe because it only exists on your FNB banking app
– You can create as many as you want with nicknames
– You can block and cancel it immediately on the app
– It works online or for physical in-store payments


After I was given access, I went into the app to my account settings to access my cards. I began generating my own virtual cards and gave them nicknames relating to where and how I wanted to use them. These included iCloud, online shopping and music streaming services, etc. Creating as many as I did is optional. You can choose to create only one if you wish. It took a few seconds each to generate the virtual card.


When I shop online, I use the virtual card to pay, I just feel safer doing so. In the back of my mind, if my details were somehow exposed, the credentials won’t be valid to a hacker trying to use it elsewhere. I also went into my related apps and services to change my payment details to the new credentials.

FNB says the system has been designed to know and learn what recurring payments are. All my payments for iCloud etc have gone off for three months now without a hitch – I didn’t have to worry about the dynamic CVV in this instance. However, it won’t work for in-app payments. Example, I tried to buy a magazine on Zinio and it didn’t go through naturally because you’d have to treat that like an online shopping transaction and add the dynamic CVV at that moment.

The expiry date on the virtual card is five years, unlike your physical cards where it is valid for three years. I don’t know if this is a pro to some but not having to worry about credentials for five years seems like a good thing to me.


If you’re worried about online security, this is pretty tight. It is already less of a risk than your physical card getting into the wrong hands. Virtual cards exist in your app and can’t be cloned like physical cards through skimming. If you do a lot of online shopping – I’ve been doing more since lockdown – then it’s definitely something you should look into. I like the added layer of security it provides. Should my details get compromised, I can head into the FNB app and block or cancel it immediately without worrying about replacing my physical card in my wallet. The less admin I have to deal with, the better.


1. Simply log into the FNB app, either on iOS or Android.
2. Head into your main account and tap “account options”.
3. Go into the “My Cards” tab.
4. Click on “Add card or virtual card” and select the virtual card option.
5. Choose a nickname for it to differentiate between your other cards.
6. Tap ‘submit’ and ‘finish’.
7. Your card is ready to use.

If you tap the card, you can see the option to cancel it, temporarily block it or use it with FNB Pay. The latter will bring up Scan to Pay, which is how you can use it in-store when you see a supported QR Code at a till point, food market, etc.

It’s been working in the background for me for months now. It’s a safer option for than my physical bank card, and that’s all that matters to me.


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A post shared by Nafisa Akabor (@nafisa)