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What is a Virtual Credit Card?


An increasing number of Americans are falling prey to credit card fraud every year. It is being estimated that around 20% of these people blame online transactions for such mishaps and is perhaps the reason why people shy away from shopping over the internet. Virtual credit cards, which offer controlled numbers for payments have been in existence for nearly seven years and are slowly gaining in popularity, allowing people to shop freely without the fear of theft of their personal details.

What is a Virtual Credit Card?

Virtual credit cards are disposable payment cards, which can be used for shopping or making payments over the internet. They are also known as single-use credit cards. These cards provide the protection that consumer’s desire as they are provided with a new card number for every transaction they make, online. These Instant virtual card issuance are issued by major brands such as MasterCard, Visa and major banking organizations. They are similar to online gift vouchers and totally eliminate any possibilities of fraud.

How do they Work?

These cards are similar in nature to regular cards with the exception that they can only be used online. The accounts associated with the card are funded online and consumers intending to shop online use the number of their virtual card, just as they would in regular circumstances. Virtual credit cards are basically pre-paid cards with no line of credit being made available on them. The user will need to open an account and fund the same before they are able to use the card. Some issuers allow funding of the account with a variety of methods, while others will only do so with a regular credit or debit card.

Signing up for a Virtual Card

The application process for a virtual credit card may differ from one provider to another. However, the basic requirements remain the same. An application available on the card website will have to be completed apart from downloading the security software to the personal computer or laptop, which is being used. Fees applicable for activation of the card and the account will be debited, once funds are received for the first time. Monthly maintenance charges will also be applicable.

Merchants accepting Virtual Cards

There is absolutely no restriction on any merchants for accepting virtual credit cards. However, it must be remembered that these cards can only be used online and cannot be carried around like a regular card. The merchant will in no way be able to comprehend whether a consumer is using a regular credit/debit card or a virtual card. They will have no access to any data apart from the temporary number, which is generated for the transaction.

Disadvantages of a Virtual Cards

Virtual credit cards can only be used for online transactions. Many people have limited usage of cards that can only be used online. Therefore, they feel a need to retain a physical card for use against transactions of some types. They are also slow in processing transactions as compared to their counterparts. However, they are a good solution for people preferring to shop and make payments online due to their secure nature.

Virtual Credit Cards – The Right Help at the Right Time

We all very well know how convenient credit cards have proven to be. Whether it’s making purchases at the mall, or paying for an emergency at the hospital, these plastic wonders definitely come in handy. Nowadays, people use their cards for online transactions on a regular basis. With the rise in online transactions, there has also been an equal rise in fraudsters taking a hold of and misusing shopper’s credit card information.

As much as possible we try to use our cards in secure websites, but sometimes there are instances when we are required to make use of unsecured web pages. And using our credit card information in such pages is highly risky. Which is why banks have found a way round this and come up with a wonderful solution called – virtual credit cards.

How do they work?

  • These virtual cards are issued by several popular banks.
  • Only a primary card holder can make use of this facility and add – on card holders cannot avail this feature.
  • They have a limited validity – not more than a few days. Since they are usually used to make only one-time transactions.
  • A separate set of credentials such as card number, cvv number etc is assigned to this virtual card. These are the details Virtual card solutions for businesses you’ll need to enter when you want to use this card.
  • There are certain minimum and maximum limits assigned to your virtual credit card.
  • Money from your account is transferred into this card when you want it. And if there is any money remaining after your transaction, it is transferred back into your account.

These cards are easy to create and use, as all the process is done online. All you need to do is have a valid internet banking facility with transaction rights, and voila you can avail a virtual credit card!

What are the advantages of VCC?

  • The main advantage is security of course! You never have to reveal the actual details of your credit card or debit card account details.
  • There is a one time password that will be issued to you, this is the main reason why there is little room for anybody else to misuse your card.
  • The amount from your account will be debited only when you make an actual purchase using the virtual card.
  • You can even create a virtual card using your debit card.
  • You don’t even need to own an actual credit card, all you need is an active bank account with sufficient balance and a net banking facility in order to make use of this feature.

Now you know you can easily avoid the treacherous credit card debt, and at the same time not lose out on the advantages of electronic money. Go ahead and get yourself a virtual card today for easy as well as secure transactions.

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