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Temporary Visa cards arrive on the Net

3V Transaction Services, an Irish e-payments company, says its is partnering with Visa International, Irish Life and Permanent and the Payzone cash acceptance network to launch a Visa-branded e-payment system for the Internet.

The idea is that punters pay £3.50 plus the value of a transaction to buy goods and services online using a temporary Visa card number, which they can buy online, or at point of sale using the Payzone network.

Each voucher will have the usual Visa 16-digit number, and users will get the expiry date of the `e-card' plus the usual three digit CVV number via e-mail or text message.

Each 3V voucher can be worth between £20 and £200, and any unused balance left after one or more purchases, can be cashed in for a further £1.70 fee.

The service looks a bit pricey to take off into the mainstream but, for - ahem - certain transactions (you mean porn? -Ed) it could be a useful option, especially when consider that some Irish banks have started refusing to compensate cardholders for online fraud.

3V says that more than 60,000 punters signed up for the Visa e-vouchers during a year-long pilot program in Ireland.

The e-vouchers will be rolled out in Ireland and the UK, followed by the rest of Europe, some time next year...