Standard Bank Card & Payments: Going Digital due to COVID-19 pandemic


The financial service company, Standard Bank, one of the BIG BANKS in South Africa, is making a shift to cashless, contactless payment methods accelerated by the current pandemic.

Ethel Nyembe, who is the Head of Card and Payments at the Standard Bank Group said “Digital payments have now become a critical service,”

“They allow for commerce to continue while reducing the risk of physical interaction and infection. We know that we will be living with the risk of Covid-19 for a long time to come and need to find ways to continue with life despite it.”

The prepaid and co-branded Virtual Card was the first launched in Africa by Standard Bank in 2018.


The Virtual Card could be loaded in real-time to all SB customers through the Standard Bank mobile App. This is created on the mobile free for free and can be topped up on a regular basis according to the bank. ‘

Nyembe also added that “The Virtual Card comes with significant safety and security benefits and allows users to stay in control of how much they spend,”

“This creates a much-improved online payment experience by making the process simpler and safer – without adding an extra cost to the pocket of the consumer.

“This offering has proved popular among our customers and we saw significant growth in transactions made using the Virtual Card in 2019.  These numbers are accelerating this year, due to the new normal under Covid-19.”

With the Virtual Card, customers can make purchases online and access apps without the need to expose their personal details. The generic Virtual Card allows domestic and international online shopping and/or opt for a store-only card as “a result of Standard Bank partnering with popular e-tailers such as Takealot, Uber, Travelstart, Zando, and Admyt” says the bank in a statement.

“We strive to be at the forefront of new technology that will make the customer’s life safe – in the physical and virtual environment. We are armed with the type of payment methods that customers require in the current environment; they have been in place before the pandemic hit and will continue to be built upon as we head further into the new normal.” – Nyembe concluded.

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