The Ultimate Guide To Virtual Credit Cards.
Worried about identity theft but love online shopping? This one’s for you.
In a world where you can get almost anything online, virtual shopping is on the rise. Within the past year, e-commerce has grown 46%. Additionally, online transactions are important to businesses that need to make payments to merchants.
Regardless of your online transaction reasons, security and anti-fraud measures are valuable. Perhaps one of the safest ways to complete online transactions is with a virtual credit card. These 16-digit, randomly generated numbers help reduce fraud and facilitate online shopping.
What Is A Virtual Credit Card?
A virtual credit card is a set of temporary numbers your bank gives you that link to your bank account. Virtual cards are disposable at the click of a button and are designed for ultimate protection when online shopping.
Get a virtual credit card whenever you need one—simply ask your bank for a virtual card. They’ll give you a randomly generated credit card number, CVV, and expiration date. You can choose between a card good for a single, one-time transaction or a card that expires after a number of transactions or hours.
How Does It Work?
If a virtual credit card sounds intimidating to you, don’t worry! They’re easy to use.
A virtual credit card functions just like your regular one. When you’re ready to check out, insert the card number as you usually would on the shopping site. It’s a different number than your actual card, but it links to the same bank account. That means you’ll get the liberty of spending your money however you want without worrying about your information being stolen.
Shopping at a brick-and-mortar? Don’t forget your wallet. Virtual cards are only good for online transactions—no phone transactions and no in-person shopping.
Benefits & Drawbacks Of Virtual Credit Cards
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty. See if a virtual credit card is right for you by reviewing this list of benefits and drawbacks.
- Secure Shopping. The main benefit of virtual credit cards is their security. Since you’re using a temporary, made-up number, identity theft and fraud are highly unlikely to happen—no matter what site you’re shopping on. Automatic
- Expiration. Get rid of your virtual card at the click of a button. If you want to delete it before it expires, you can do so. No waiting here!
- Customized Usage. Select when and how your card expires. You can choose for it to expire after a transaction, period of time, or money limit.
- Limited Shopping. Unfortunately, virtual cards only work for online transactions. You won’t be able to use these in person or over the phone.
- Time-Consuming Process. Sometimes, it can take a while for your bank to process your request for a virtual credit card. Research ahead of time to see what your bank’s virtual credit card policy depends on.
- Customization Depends on Your Bank. The time allotted to use a virtual card depends on your bank. Also worth noting: not every bank has virtual credit cards available for use.
How To Make The Most Of Your Virtual Credit Card
For online shoppers: Use your virtual credit card to enjoy privacy, lower your chances of tracking, avoid being targeted by advertisers, and protect against fraud or identity theft. From groceries to clothes, a virtual credit card can help get you the essentials while providing a safe shopping experience.
For businesses: Use virtual credit cards to help with implementation, provide immediate availability of funds, and manage cash flow.
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