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More like a disposable debit card, really

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Permanent TSB and Visa are encouraging Irish shoppers to go online with the launch of a new disposable credit card voucher.

About 67 per cent of Irish adults do not have a credit card, leaving them unable to book flights and tickets, buy music or shop online. However, the new credit card voucher from Permanent TSB is hoping to change that. Similar to mobile phone top-up vouchers, the new voucher has a unique credit card number and a set credit limit. The vouchers can be disposed of once they've been used, with no security risk to the customer.

Reports indicate that the disposable credit card, which was tested in Dublin in recent months, will be available to buy in ordinary shops. The new voucher will also be launched in the UK and Europe in the near future.

With identity theft and phishing scams -- where bogus websites are used to elicit sensitive financial information from internet users -- on the rise, users are understandably concerned about the using their credit cards online.

online auction site Ebay.ie teamed up with the Gardai (Irish police force) last week, to combat credit card fraud in Ireland Online fraud accounts for only one per cent of credit card fraud in Ireland: identity theft -- which includes phishing, Trojan viruses and physical bin-raiding -- was responsible for around €1mof credit card fraud in 2004.

In June, MasterCard admitted that up to 40 million cards in the US could have been exposed to potential fraud after an unknown person gained access to the computer system a third-party processor of payment card data.

Permanent TSB's disposable credit card, which is reportedly the world's first such personal finance product, should help allay concerns some shoppers may have about the security of their credit cards online.

The new disposable credit card voucher is a collaboration between Permanent TSB, alphyra and 3V Transactions Services.

© ENN

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