What is virtual credit card and how to create it?

Virtual Credit Card In technological advancement era, virtual credit cards are the best alternatives for credit and debit card holders to prevent from phishing and other internet frauds.

What is a Virtual Credit Card?

A virtual card, abbreviated as virtual credit card is special online payment solution with complete online security while shopping on Internet. It is like an add-on card issued on the user's primary credit card. Virtual credit card is a one-time operational card which comes with a preloaded amount that is valid only for a definite time period. Virtual credit cards do not have any plastic or physical existence and they are created online for use. It is also to informreaders that virtual card does not have any fee related with it.

Main details of the virtual credit cards include the card number, expiry date, CVV number,which are needed when customers use the card online, but the user's primary card details are never shared with the dealer/merchant online. Virtual card payments are issued via Web or mobile, and processed just like traditional credit card payments.

Therefore when users use the virtual credit card online, they should not worry about losing their card or to take care of card while travelling or going to anywhere. It is important to know that a virtual credit card is not a physical card, it can be used only for online transactions, for which users need is credit card number, CVV number and Expiry number.

Currently, many banks offer virtual cards promptly. Name of banks that offer virtual credit card are as under:

  2. HDFC Bank: HDFC NetSafe
  3. Kotak Mahindra Bank: Kotaknetcard
  4. State Bank of India: SBI Virtual Card
  5. Axis Bank: Axis e-wallet card

Validity of the virtual card:

Validity of the virtual card The virtual credit card is only valid for a single use and automatically expires within 24 hours even if the virtual credit cards is not used. This is reason that there are minimal chances of the credit card fraud or misusesas compared to a real a credit card.

Most of the banks issue a virtual credit card which is valid worldwide and users can use them on the websites outside India. Nevertheless, some banks namely, State Bank of India still issue virtual credit cards that are only valid in India. So, users should always check if the card is valid internationally or not.

Some people must have query that whether virtual credit cards can be created using a debit card. It is to inform them that virtual credit cards can be developed from debit card from most of the banks. Even if one has a debit card and not a credit card, they can use their debit card to create a virtual card online. Currently, people want to transact online always, but there are times when they do not hold a credit card. But now it is easier for them as they can now create a virtual credit card and use it to manage online.

Another important fact about virtual credit cards is that users can get refund from the merchant site. In some cases, it may happen that users want a refund of the amount paid through virtual credit cards to the mercantile site. It may be due to some defect in the product or some problem in the services or some other situation. As, the payment is made through virtual credit cards (which has already expired as it has been used once), users can get the refund back. The refund will automatically be credited to the user's main card.

Another feature of virtual credit cards is that if the virtual credit cards is not fully utilised, the balance amount of the VCC gets credited to the main card within a certain period of time, as per the bank's rule.

Some examples:

Procedure for applying for a Virtual Credit Card in SBI:

  1. Login to your SBI online banking account (https://www.onlinesbi.com/).
  2. Navigate to the e-Cards option present on the menu bar.
  3. Next step is to fill the amount (VCC limit). Agree to the terms and click "Generate" button.
  4. Then click "Generate" on the next screen to confirm. Users will be provided with a virtual credit card on which they will find all the details that is needed.

Creating a Virtual Credit Card in HDFC:

  1. Users must go to HDFC Netsafe service website and click "Login to NetSafe" link on the right side.
  2. On the next screen, click on "Register" button.
  3. Click on "I Accept" button.
  4. In next step, enter HDFC credit card/debit card number, expiry details and click "Submit".
  5. Next, enter your mobile number, security/secret text and other personal information.
  6. In next step, enter a unique username and password for your NetSafe account. User's account is now registered. Next, they will have to generate a Virtual credit card.
  7. Login to NetSafe service and enter an amount (limit). Click "Go" to create a virtual credit card.

When users can use Virtual Credit Card?

When users are transacting on a website, where they are bothered about security, but still they have to use it.

When users do not have a real credit card, but only have a net-banking facility, they can still create virtual credit cards and use them.

Users can also use virtual cards where they just want to try out the service, but by default the website starts charging the card on renewal basis. If they use virtual card, it will anyways get cancelled after one use and there will be no renewal charges later.

Benefits of virtual card payments:

  1. Cost: Reduced costs by replacing paper work to online payment.
  2. Security: Virtual card payments are highly secure and considerably reduce costs related with lost or stolen checks and credit cards.
  3. Streamlined processes: Companies gain substantial efficiencies with easier payment reconciliation and reduction in check handling.
  4. No sensitive banking information required: With global VCard, seller setup is easy and does not require banking information.

Virtual credit cards are useful for Bloggers and Freelancers as they often have to make payments online for goods and services like web hosting and advertisements. Debit cards are not accepted everywhere and owning a credit card is a must in some scenarios. The card has a prepaid limit so merchant cannot overcharge.

There are some demerits of Virtual credit cards. They are usually limited to use on the Internet and cannot be used for offline transactions. Additionally, their online use is limited to certain types of purchases, as some merchants require real credit cards and personal information.

The virtual credit cards technology is new implementation policy in payment of bills in India. It is already executed internationally since last many years.With the use of virtual credit cards, credit card holders aresecured about credit card details which will not be misused by offenders.