Unlike normal credit cards, a virtual credit card is an add-on VISA credit card which is issued on a user’s primary credit card. Like the name suggests, a virtual credit card is literally virtual and cannot be held physically. Users can only use the virtual card online, meaning that all the credit card details such as the card number, expiry date, CVV, etc. are visible online.
In simple words, a virtual credit card is basically a temporary credit card number which can be used while shopping online. These card numbers are disposable and are actually designed to protect the users’ actual credit card accounts from any fraudulent activities. Learn how to block and/or unblock your credit card in case you notice any fraudulent activities on your credit card.
This blog talks about what a virtual credit card is, what are its benefits and how you can use one. So, read on to learn more!
Features of a Virtual Credit Card
Apart from being literally virtual, a virtual credit card has the following features-
- Virtual credit cards protect you from any data breach through an insecure network connection
- These credit cards help users safeguard their identity online
- A virtual credit card can be created using the bank’s internet banking facility
- You don’t need to make any additional payments to get a virtual credit card
- Virtual credit cards do not need to be issued physically by credit card providers
- You only need to use your phone to transact through a virtual credit card
- Virtual credit cards are meant for a single-use only and are valid for a maximum of 48 hours
- It must be noted that virtual credit cards are issued only to primary card holders
Benefits of Virtual Credit Cards
Virtual credit cards involve multiple benefits. Some of those are listed below-
- Virtual credit cards are safer than other credit cards as they do not expose your credentials to the vendor
- Non-credit card holders can also get virtual credit cards upon requesting to their banks
- These credit cards ease the process of online transactions for customers
- Since virtual credit cards are provided online, users can access their cards instantly
- Cardholders can also block their virtual credit cards immediately if they suspect any threat to their card
- In case, your virtual credit card gets expired and there is unutilised credit limit on your card, it will be transferred to your primary credit card, thus ensuring a comprehensive utility of your credit card’s limit
- Banks/credit card issuers provide virtual credit cards without any additional charges
- Virtual credit cards can be used for all, national and international transactions
Are Virtual Credit Cards Safe?
Explained below are a few reasons that explain how a virtual credit card is absolutely safe to use-
- Since virtual credit cards are temporary and are disposed after limited number of transactions, they provide an additional level of security
- If by any chance, the details of your virtual credit card falls in the hands of a fraudster, you can simply cancel that virtual card without having to close your entire credit card account
- Sometimes, a virtual credit card is designed for a single use only. In such cases, if a fraudster steals the details of your virtual credit card in a data breach or through an unsecure internet connection, the the card would automatically become invalid
How to Use a Virtual Credit Card?
To use a virtual credit card, you should first check if your credit card issuer provides virtual credit cards. If it does, then you need to submit your debit/credit details and request your credit card issuer to generate one for you. Upon successful processing of your request, you will receive a card number, which is generated randomly along with an expiration date and a security code for your virtual credit card.
After having all these details, you can easily use your virtual credit card to check out any transaction online. Simply follow these steps to make the transaction-
- Enter the virtual credit card number
- Input the credit card’s validity date
- Submit the OTP sent to your registered mobile number
- Confirm the transaction and your payment will be made
The same transaction will appear on your credit card account statement just like any other regular credit card transaction would appear.
Do Virtual Credit Cards have any Drawbacks?
While virtual credit cards work very well in most cases, there are some situations where they may backfire. For instance, if you have to request a refund for a payment from a retailer, then you will have to provide the details of the credit card using which you made the payment. If your disposable/virtual credit card has already expired, then you would not be able to get the refund to your credit card and you might be forced to get store credit instead.
Virtual credit cards are considered better in many terms in relation to the traditional credit cards. These cards reduce the risk of any frauds on your credit card as they do not expose your credit card credentials to anybody but you. Additionally, virtual credit cards are valid only for a limited number of transactions and hence, can be disposed of easily. These cards are only visible to the user and hence involve negligible chances of frauds.