Know about Virtual Credit Card

The virtual credit card is a credit card number issued by the credit card provider. The users are generally provided a software program that they need to set up on their mobiles or computers. The customer has to create an interim virtual credit card number by using this software; this number is linked with the permanent credit card. Customer can make online purchases by using this interim virtual credit card number. This number can’t be traced back to customers’ identity or original credit card. Therefore, deceitful merchants or online hackers can’t get your sensitive data.

Benefits of Virtual Credit Card: 

  1. Customers get minimum and maximum per transaction credit limit for each day.
  2. It is valid for a specific period as specified by card issuer; so, it can’t be misused by anyone else .  
  3. Customers can perform only one transaction with a virtual card.
  4. The customer can use maximum limit or the part of it.
  5. The balance amount of virtual credit card is credited back to customer’s original account.
  6. Virtual credit card is issued only to primary card holder not to a secondary card holder.
  7. If a customer shows the original credit card for making payment, virtual card can’t be seen.
  8. Virtual credit card is non-physical card; therefore, it can’t be cloned.
  9. Because of being no physical asset, it can’t be stolen. 
  10. Highly usable on tours and in emergency situations.  
  11. It is a no cost service by original card issuers.

Read also: How to Withdraw Cash from Credit Card without Fees

Future of Virtual Credit Cards: 

Random numbers of virtual credit cards are more secure than the static numbers. These are expected to be widely accepted soon. Virtual credit cards are going to be more integrated into mobile and digital wallet services like Google Pay, Visa Checkout, Apple Pay and others. These are expected to deliver seamless experience from the user’s perspective because of less logging into bank’s account, less integration of browsers and less use of payment apps. The safety combined with ease is going to popularize virtual credit cards better than today.  

How to Shop with Virtual Credit Card:

It is bit more complicated to shop with virtual credit card rather than to shop with normal card but once you start using a virtual credit card, you will feel ease and enhanced sense of security. It needs separate login in to credential to bank account or to virtual credit card services provider. It is fair to take extra step to get added cover against the identity theft. These can be used online or over the mobile. Whenever you are online, your virtual credit card is full. Open your virtual credit card website through a special app in same browser or different browser and log into account. After getting login into the account with specific username and password, you can generate one-time transaction token. The token often comes with expiry time. You can spend the amount under the specified limit. If virtual credit card is liked to credit card, transactions will be shown on your bank statement. The refunds also get reflected on bank account statement.

Read also: How to Transfer Money from Credit Card to Bank Account

Top Virtual Credit Cards in the UK:

  1. Bank of America offers ShopSafe service for Visa or MasterCard holders using online banking also for transactions. ShopSafe allows to set maximum credit limit and to configure the expiration. Even if you report the physical card for lost or stolen, the virtual card remains active. Validity can be set up to one year. It comes with recurring monthly payment feature that allows managing monthly bills securely. It can also be used for merchandising purpose without requiring any special software.
  2. Citibank’s Virtual Account Number service lets the users set maximum credit limit with a expiry date; it includes an Windows-specific application (optional) also; the app automatically fills up credit card details. Citi Virtual Card complements an organization’s commercial card program. Citibank’s Virtual Account can be used as the ‘one fits to all’ solution for streamlining purchasing by creating large virtual tickets. Authorization can be managed for single or multiple uses. It can be used for individual and combined aggregate transactions. It is good for individual merchant and merchant group both.
  3. The ecoAccount is free; it offers great flexibility and control over the finances. By opening classic ecoAccount, you can start using online account immediately to make worldwide transactions. User has liberty to upgrade the accounts for more spending limit and benefits. There are three levels of ecoPayz virtual credit cards – Silver, Gold, Platinum and VIP. The card issue and activation fee is applicable €1.80, €1.80, €1.80, €1.80 respectively. Transaction processing, balance enquiry, statement enquiry, account inquiry are free but Cash service and Currency conversion service are payable. Max single transaction limit is €700, €700, €1,000, €1,000 for Silver, Gold, Platinum and VIP.
  4. Capital One Eno helps to shop online more safely by creating instant unique virtual card number for each merchandising website right from your own browser. In case, a merchant breaches in to your details, you have options to lock and unlock that particular virtual card number while other the spending with other virtual card number remains unaffected. Eno is made available where ever you are through texting, mobile app, or email.

Read also: 7 Alternatives To Credit Cards

Limitations of Virtual Credit Cards:

Despite regular upgrading of technology, Virtual credit card payment system still seems far from being the perfect solution for remote payments.

  1. Limited availability: All the leading credit card issuers don’t essentially provide virtual credit cards.
  2. Not applicable everywhere:  You can’t use virtual credit cards for any types of transactions especially when you make purchases personally.
  3. Fraud possibility still exists: The virtual credit cards issuers advise to set the shorter expiry of date. If any fraud happens to your virtual credit card, the issuer can cancel the card.
  4. Not necessary: The security is the major benefit of using virtual credit card that is highlighted by the companies but credit cards also provide adequate security for the transactions.
  5. Not ideal for recurring expenses: You might forget to reset the expiry date for paying the recurring bills; in this case, you will face the late payment charges.    

My Take:

Virtual credit card could be useful in specific situations for internet perfect people who don’t trust the website or e-commerce store for shopping. But, if you don’t trust a source to make payment, why will you do that?

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