We have seen significant developments in the banking system over the decades. For several years, we used paper money to pay for products and services. However, we have then shifted from that system to a more convenient and faster paperless transaction. Credit cards are one of the easiest ways to make payments today. You only need to swipe your card, and you are good to go.
Unfortunately, credit card’s vulnerability to hacks makes most of us wary when making a transaction, especially on online platforms. Nevertheless, virtual credit cards offer a solution to security issues that accompany paperless payments.
What Is Virtual Credit Card
A virtual credit card or controlled payment number refers to a randomly produced and temporary 16- digit number that replaces your actual credit card number when making online purchases.
It is connected to your credit card, but its design makes it hard for hackers to access your information. The transactions made using virtual credit cards appear on your usual bill; however, the merchant does not have access to your real credit card number.
You could set a limit and expiry date on your card if the issuer allows. The capability offers more security and minimizes the risks of becoming a victim of fraud. Typically, you manage your virtual credit card via digital wallets like Samsung Pay, Google Pay, or Apple Pay.
Where to Get a Virtual Credit Card
Several large banks issue virtual credit cards; therefore, it is not difficult to access one; however, you can inquire from your card provider to be sure. Banks that do not offer the card often use third-party services like Final and Entropay to link an existing card issued by a particular bank to digital services. Furthermore, you can even buy virtual visa gift card with Bitcoin.
Unlike actual credit cards, virtual ones have customizable characteristics like mechanized bill pay. Currently, you can comfortably get a virtual credit card in the United States from the following banks:
If you hold a Citi card, you can easily enroll for a virtual one and generate it from the bank’s website. The bank issues these cards to nearly all its clients.
Holders of Capital one cards can secure their money using Eno. It is only available for holders of personal accounts and allows you to create a nickname for your account and keeps all the records for your transactions in case you need to access later. You cannot set a limit; instead, it uses the credit limit of the actual card.
Bank of America
It provides ShopSafe to clients with a Visa and Mastercard aside from American Express. It allows a 12 months maximum expiry time and lets you maintain repetitive monthly payments to solve subscription issues.
Pros of Virtual Credit Cards
Virtual credit cards eliminate the need to close your account in case of a data breach. A cardholder would often have to get a new credit card number; however, if you were using a virtual card at the time of the theft, you only need to close the virtual one. This means that you do not have to change the information in your recurring subscriptions. It also helps to control your expenditure on online platforms. Setting the spending limit means you cannot make more purchases once you reach the limit. It is a suitable feature for people who tend to do impulse buying.
Since most virtual credit cards expire faster than actual credit cards, they are more secure because in case a hacker gains access to your card, chances are it will expire before they get a chance to steal your money. Additionally, hackers cannot charge your card, especially after it expires because virtual cards offer dynamic information; the verification data differs for every online payment.
Corporate Virtual Cards
Although it is more prominent to use virtual credit cards for personal purchases, a business can also benefit from the service. It will significantly solve issues within your company, such as multiple employees making purchases like dinners and plane tickets for clients. Getting a corporate virtual card like American Express’ vPayment helps you to monitor expenditure on the company card and also offers security.
The additional protection offered by virtual credit cards gives you a degree of peace of mind when conducting online shopping.