what is a virtual card

Debit and Credit cards or so-called plastic money has a huge impact on our daily lives. We use them for withdrawing money and purchasing things online and offline as well. Though the banks don’t give credit cards to every person, the debit card is possessed by almost all the account holders. Today, I am going to explain What is a Virtual card and How a Virtual Debit and Credit card is useful.

No Doubt, the Credit and Debit cards are contributing a lot in the cashless economy of our country. After demonetization in India, the use of plastic money has significantly got increased.

But there are a lot of people who still don’t feel safe for making an online transaction. The reason includes various kinds of online frauds, card cloning, etc. They avoid using their card online and still prefer cash whenever possible, and here the concept of Virtual Card comes in.

Also Read: How to Remove Third Party Apps which are Accessing Your Gmail Account?

What is a Virtual Card?

what is a virtual card

A virtual card is an online card that has no physical existence. It’s actually a free service provided by the original card issuer to customers who want to perform online transactions but afraid of frauds. You can call it an invisible version of credit or debit cards.

The concept and its working are really simple. A virtual card is just a card number issued by the original card provider. The virtual card issuers generally provide application software and set it up on the customer’s PC or laptop. This software is used to generate a virtual card number linked to the original card. You can use this virtual card number for making online payments.

The best thing about using a virtual card is its security. If you use this virtual card number, neither anyone can track your original card details nor the hackers or greedy merchants will get your sensitive data. The virtual card is valid for one-time use only and also expires after a particular duration. So, there’s nothing to worry about.

Example: HDFC NetSafe, AxisPAYGO, SBI Virtual Credit Card, Pockets Card by ICICI, Union Bank DigiPurse wallet, etc.

What are Virtual Credit and Virtual Debit Card?

A virtual card comes in both the versions – Credit and Debit card. If you have a virtual credit card, this would work exactly the same as of a normal credit card. You will be able to use all the credited balance or a portion of it. The same concept applies to the virtual debit card also.

A virtual debit card or virtual credit card just differs from the physical card in terms of a number of usage and validity. The security is always better in virtual cards and as they do not exist in any physical form, it’s almost impossible to clone them.

Also Read: What is Aadhaar Virtual ID (VID) and How it Works?

Advantages of Virtual Card:

virtual card advantages

  1. One-time use and Validity: Virtual Cards are for one-time use and valid for a specific period of time. So, they are more secure than physical cards. If you use it instantly, this would be good. Otherwise, it’s going to expire after a particular duration anyway.
  2. Flexibility in Limit: Virtual cards are actually linked with your original card, so you are allowed to use all credit balance or a portion of it. It completely depends on you.
  3. No worries about Balance: If after shopping or making payment, any balance amount remaining on the virtual credit card, there’s nothing to worry about. It will be credited back to your original account.
  4. Reliable: The customer will be free from the worry of damage or loss in case of virtual cards.

Disadvantages of Virtual Card:

virtual card disadvantages

  1.  Everyday Limit: Some virtual credit card issuer set maximum and minimum credit per transaction each day, which you may not like.
  2. Virtual cards are not for Everyone: Virtual cards can only be issued to a primary cardholder. There’s no bargain for secondary cardholders in case of joint accounts and others.
  3. No Physical Form: In case you need to show the card to someone, you cannot do anything in case of virtual cards.

Recommended: 8 Ways to Keep Your Computer Safe From Hackers and Cyber Attacks

Conclusion: Virtual Cards are Useful or Not?

Virtual cards are like a safety guard that not only fight with your fear of online transaction but also ensures that your original card details remain safe. They have no physical form which means cloning is impossible. I hope you found this article on Virtual Card useful. I even tried to explain Virtual credit and debit card so that you won’t have any confusion. If you still have any query regarding Virtual Cards, feel free to ask them in the comments.

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