Net 1 UEPS Technologies had launched new technology that was able to produce virtual debit cards to make secure payments online in the US, the Nasdaq- and JSE-listed company announced yesterday. The Mobile Virtual Card invention used Net 1’s proprietary technology and allowed for a virtual debit card to be generated by a smartphone application, the firm said. The company’s Net1 Mobile Solutions Business unit had partnered with Pay in Private in the US to launch the technology. Pay in Private had also partnered with a US marketer with experience in online financial services. The technology operated on a prepaid basis and could be used where MasterCard debit cards were accepted for online purchases, the company said. Jerry Klein, Pay in Private’s chief executive, said the patented process did not disclose personal financial information and provided increased privacy and protection from identity theft, including an online payment option for people who did not have access to a physical card. Net 1’s shares dropped 6.73 percent to close at R102.60 in one trade of just 144 shares on the JSE yesterday. – Asha Speckman