So you found this nifty gadget online. You’ve been searching every store for it, and you finally found it online, but there's only one stock left.
Now, you’re all pumped; placed your order, and headed for checkout - ready to win the ‘last man standing.’ But, sadly, you don't have your card details saved, and your ATM card is nowhere near you.
Disappointing and frustrating, right?
This is just one of the many disappointing scenarios you could avoid with virtual cards.
Virtual cards are a relatively new addition to payments, and they're quickly gaining all the popularity and acceptance they deserve. From the convenience they provide to the safety and security of your funds and card details. Virtual cards are the new future of payments, and we just can’t get over it.
This article explores all you need to know about virtual cards, how they work, their features and benefits, and why you should feel left out. So, let’s dive in.
What is a Virtual Card, And How Does It Work?
A virtual card is a digital version of the traditional plastic credit or debit card. It works by creating a unique 16-digit account number for each transaction stored electronically, with an expiration date and security code. They can be used only once or for a limited time, and they mask the actual card numbers to provide extra security.
Purchases made using virtual cards are processed like any other credit card transaction, but there's no physical card to swipe or insert into a reader. Neither do you need to enter your card number or additional personal information.
So, if you're looking for a safe and secure means to make online payments, virtual cards are a go-to option.
With that said, let’s find out how virtual credit and debit cards work…
How Does A Virtual Card Work?
Whether you're shopping in your favorite e-commerce stores, paying bills, food delivery, or flight tickets, the virtual card lets you do all that without hassles.
Virtual cards work exactly like the usual plastic debit or credit cards. The only difference is that the virtual card only exists in a digital form - on your bank apps or online wallets.
You can easily activate a virtual card via your bank app or virtual card provider. You can either receive emails or push notifications with the payment information and card details to use the card. Alternatively, you can log in to your bank app to access the virtual card option and make payments at any time.
The virtual cards can be used almost anywhere; online, over the phone, or in-person, just like your physical credit card. The only difference is that you'll need your phone handy to use it since it's linked to your mobile banking app.
What Are the Benefits of Virtual Cards?
The virtual card does everything a traditional card does, with added security and convenience. Virtual cards also have benefits beyond comfort and security. They can help with accounting, budgeting, expense tracking, and more. Below are some of the benefits of virtual cards:
Extra Layer of Safety
Virtual cards eliminate card theft since you won’t need to carry your physical cards around. Also, your virtual card details can not be easily compromised since most virtual cards also expire after each transaction.
Flexible and Secure Payments
Worried about using your card on online platforms? The virtual card lets you make contactless payments on several eCommerce stores and online platforms. The cards also come with two-factor authentication, limiting fraud exposure and preventing unauthorized reuse.
More Control Over Your Money
You can set a spending limit on your virtual card, so you don’t end up paying for things you don’t need. You can also lock and unlock your card at any time.
Keep Track of Your Expenses
With a virtual card, you can track your expenses to see where your money goes. You can also see how much you have on your card without going through your bank statement.
Virtual cards are fast and easy to use and set up. They work just like the physical cards, and even better because you do not need a machine to operate them. All you need is a few taps on your phone screen, and you’re good to go.
Zero Merchant Fees
Virtual credit cards help you cut down on high exchange rates and merchant fees like card maintenance fees, transaction charges, etc., especially when making small purchases. You can also set up or activate your virtual card without paying a dime.
You can generate or activate a virtual card and cancel at any time without having to consult your bank or service provider physically. Virtual cards allow for more instant transactions with glitches or delays.
Fancy withdrawing cash from another country? Or paying for items on your favourite eCommerce sites? Virtual cards are one of the payment options to swear by, without worrying about being vulnerable to fraud or theft.
You no longer have to worry about your credit and debit card information as they are safe and secure with minimal risk.
Virtual cards offer an array of conveniences and benefits which you may not get with the traditional plastic card. For people who need stringent shopping budgets, the virtual card can keep you in check too.
You can create a virtual card with a specific dollar amount on it - this will help you minimize impulse buying and other unplanned expenses. In addition, the virtual card enables you to track your expenses so you can stay at the top of your finances and budgeting.
Are you still in doubt? Or are you scared of using debit/credit cards because of the risk involved? Then maybe it's time you switch to digital life with virtual debit and credit cards.