What is a Virtual Debit Card and Why Should You Have One?

Virtual debit card

In April 2021, there were over 520 million ATM transactions and nearly 330 million point-of sale transactions made through debit card across India

-Report by Statista

Debit cards, since their introduction in the market, have made it easy for users to withdraw money from ATMs or make payments for online and offline transactions. These cards simply allow one to access the funds deposited in the bank account with just a tap or swipe. 

Physical debit cards are themselves the innovation that made it easy to transact online, offline and at ATMs; however, virtual debit cards are one of its kind of innovation that does not require one to even carry the card. Everything is done online without the worry of carrying the card carefully or securing it from any theft or loss.

In this blog, we will discuss virtual debit cards and their benefits. 

What is a Virtual Debit Card?

A virtual debit card is a digital version of a physical debit card. It consists of all the information that a physical debit card carries. It is offered to the user by the bank through a banking mobile application. Virtual debit cards work similar to physical debit cards like paying for a purchase, buying goods or services online, etc.; however, it restricts one to make payment to places where chip and card swiping is required. The following are the details of a virtual debit card-

  • Name of the card holder
  • 16-digit debit card number
  • CVV number
  • Card expiry date
  • Type of debit card
  • Transaction settings

A virtual debit card can be used through the respective bank’s mobile application. Though the card cannot be swiped or tapped, it can be used to make payments for online transactions. Virtual debit cards cannot be used at in-person stores or to withdraw money from ATMs.

A bank’s mobile application allows a user to avail of several facilities regarding a virtual debit card like upgrading a debit card, setting the transaction limit, etc.

Benefits of a Virtual Debit Card

Following are the reasons to start using a virtual debit card-

They are safe

A virtual debit card is undoubtedly safe to use because it is safeguarded by a mobile application password and a digital medium. Unlike traditional debit cards, a virtual debit card is safe from theft, loss or cloning and cannot be imitated or copied anyway. Virtual debit cards can be blocked if they are exposed to some shady website or if the card details are tracked by hackers.

They can be instantly activated

Contrary to activating a physical debit card through ATM, call, SMS, etc., a virtual debit card is already activated to use. A user is not required to activate it and can instantly start using it for several online services.

They can be blocked anytime

A virtual debit card can be blocked anytime if a user suspects any misuse, unlike a physical debit card that requires one to connect with a bank or bank’s service centre to block it. In the case of a virtual debit card, a user can simply block it by logging in to the mobile application and tapping the block option.

They provide offers

Virtual debit cards allow one to get numerous offers to avail online on food, shopping, restaurants, etc. Bonus points can also be earned from a virtual debit card and can be redeemed online through the respective bank’s mobile application.

Miscellaneous Advantages of a Virtual Debit Card

Apart from the major benefits of a virtual debit card, there are some added miscellaneous advantages of having one- 

  • A user can set a virtual debit card transaction limit to be spent
  • Virtual debit cards are ideal for making international payments
  • It is great for parents who want to set a transaction limit for their kids
  • Since a virtual debit card remains in the mobile application, it can’t be stolen, lost or isn’t prone to online theft
  • They are digitally carried
Do I need to pay an amount to have a virtual debit card?
No, there is no fee levied by banks to use a virtual debit card.
Is a virtual debit card safe to use?
Yes, virtual debit cards are safe to use as they consist of CVV number, 16-digit debit card number, name of the cardholder, validity, etc. These credentials cannot be accessed by anyone other than the banking mobile app user.
Where can I buy a virtual debit card?
A virtual debit card is available on a user’s banking mobile application.
Can I set a transactional limit to my virtual debit card?
Yes, a user is given the flexibility to set a virtual debit card transaction limit.
Is it possible to block my virtual debit card?
A user can block his/her virtual debit card through the banking mobile application in case of suspecting any unusual activity.
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