As the name implies, virtual credit card does not have a physical form and are intended to be used only to make purchases online, that is, via the Internet.
In general, when making purchases and transactions via the Internet, it is necessary to provide the bank details of the user in order to complete the transaction. This can generate discomfort and distrust on the part of the users who, for this reason, come to avoid performing this type of operation. For its purposes, there is the option of virtual credit cards, which have a very safe operating mechanism for these types of transactions.
But how do virtual credit cards work? Usually, it resembles the operation of a prepaid card, the user recharges a specific amount of money and can use only the maximum of that amount, and recharge later.
In other cases, when requesting the virtual credit card, the user defines the monetary value that it will have and the expiration date of the same, and will be valid until the money is used up, or after said pre-established time, a card must be requested virtual new, in case you need to extend its use.
In addition, for the use of virtual cards, it is not necessary to enter personal bank data on the platform where the service is being purchased or paid, but a unique card number will be generated temporarily, and the balance recharged on it belongs to the user, without any contribution from the financial institution, which makes this payment instrument much more secure for virtual purchases.
Benefits of virtual credit cards
Virtual credit cards are an alternative means of payment to be used in specific purchases over the internet, where it is not necessary to run the risk of providing bank information.
You enjoy several advantages when choosing the option to pay with virtual credit cards, some of the most outstanding benefits:
- It is not necessary to insert the user’s bank details to carry out a purchase transaction, thus avoiding identity theft and falsification of accounts with the data provided by the users.
- The operation of the virtual credit card is very simple, so it can be used by anyone since they are very easy to access and have recognition in the number of shops that allow online transactions through virtual credit cards without any problem.
- The virtual credit cards are recharged with the balance you need for said purchase, in this way you can limit the money available for it, avoiding extra expenses and the use of personal money, in addition, you can include the expiration date for your virtual credit card
- They are disposable cards similar to mobile recharge cards, so if there is theft or loss of it, this card has a short deadline, and then it cannot be reused since it meets very specific objectives, unlike traditional credit cards.
What to consider when choosing a virtual card
- Like when you buy any other financial product, it is essential to know in advance what are the expenses derived from having a virtual card. That is the cost of hiring, maintenance, and if there are commissions for operations.
- However, it is worth asking our own bank, since on some occasions it can offer us virtual or prepaid cards with good conditions derived from our client status.
- Among the options, you can find some whose issuance and maintenance are free and others that charge for it. There are also virtual cards that do not charge for recharging.
- As you are going to use it to buy, it is important to know what the fund limit is and if there is a minimum income to be made. And if the idea is to buy out, you will also pay attention to whether there are levies in the currency exchange.
- If you are interested in linking it to a payment platform to use it in physical stores with your mobile or watch, you must also verify if it is compatible with it. Another option if you want to pay in stores in person is to opt for prepaid cards.
- As with any other card, it is worth taking a look at the protection they offer: sending SMS, coverage against fraud, insurance, etc., something you usually find by reading the small print of the contract.
Nowadays the use of virtual credit cards by users is recurrent since a large number of financial institutions have this modality or service of offering virtual credit cards. And in view of the growing need to make virtual purchases and payments, it is important to understand how virtual credit cards work and at what time it is advisable to use them.
Remember that one of its most important virtues is that they maintain the anonymity of users from identity to personal bank data, as well as the registration of purchases on the online site and its use for a limited time that often presents a benefit. These and other advantages make virtual credit cards an increasingly used option in many countries.