HSBC rolls out virtual cards for UAE businesses

The Middle East has become a new hotspot for commercial payments. Last year, Mastercard partnered with Network International to expand its services in the Middle East while its rival Visa partnered with First Abu Dhabi Bank on B2B virtual cards.

In the latest development, HSBC has launched virtual debit cards for businesses in the United Arab Emirates. The bank in its press release emphasized that this move is the bank’s ‘commitment to pioneering digital enhancements to meet the rising demand for more flexible payment solutions’.

“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”, said Kailash Nair, Regional Head of Commercial Cards, Middle East North Africa and Turkey, HSBC.

According to the press release, HSBC’s virtual debit cards run on a Visa platform and they generate single-use card numbers or tokens for each transaction with payments directly debiting from businesses current accounts. Using Visa’s Payables Automation platform, cards are distributed electronically, which protects the primary card number and also enhances payment security and efficiency.

The press release also mentions HSBC’s Navigator 2020 survey wherein it says that “digital is key to businesses succeeding as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, with ‘high growth’ companies now making most sales online”.

“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”, Shahebaz Khan, General Manager – UAE, Visa.