More people are looking for cashless ways of paying bills, booking tickets, and purchasing things both online and offline. Considering the rise of digital payments over the last few years, the use of debit and credit cards has soared higher than expected. However, with the speed and convenience these cards bring, many frauds and data breaches have also been reported.
Your credit and debit cards carry sensitive information that you have to share while making a transaction, such as your card number, expiry, data, CVV number, PIN, and others. Although card issuers use adequate security protocols to prevent any breach, fraudsters find new ways every day to break them. That is why a virtual credit cards seems to be a more secured option than other card types. These cards have no physical presence and have multiple protective layers to make them resistant to fraud. Let’s know more about making secure online transactions with virtual cards.
What is a Virtual Credit Card?
A virtual card is an add-on card that you can use as a replacement for your debit or credit card. Issued by your bank, it can be used a few times only and does not require your card details to be shared while transacting. You get a new card number with your virtual card, and once you complete the limited number of transactions, it self-destructs itself, and no one can use it again. The minimum and maximum amount may vary, and once it gets expired or cancelled, the balance amount is made available to the customer in their bank account.
You may use a virtual credit not only for online transactions across international and domestic merchant networks accepting MasterCard or Visa cards. You may also register it on a payment app like Google Pay and Paytm to make payments at physical stores.
How Secure are Virtual Credit Cards?
These are some valuable features that make virtual cards safer than regular cards:
Usually offered as an add-on by your bank, the Reserve Bank of India is the governing body for virtual cards. You do not receive your card unless your credit card issuer approves your KYC documents. You can set a transaction limit on your card, and you can authenticate a payment by providing a one-time password you receive on your registered mobile number.
Since you do not need to swipe a virtual card for making transactions, it is almost impossible for anyone to read your card and breach. Another feature that makes these cards secure is that they are valid for a limited number of days only (24-48 hours), after which they are rendered useless. There is no option to renew or reload the card after expiry, though you can create a new card for subsequent uses.
The virtual card has a 16-digit number, along with an expiry date and a CVV1 or CVV2 number. You can top up this card with a limited amount of money according to your requirement and make payments using that amount. Once you load money into your virtual credit card, you may use it to make payments just like a regular card. Since these cards have a small credit limit, you can rest assured that a fraudster cannot misuse them.
No Physical Existence:
Since these cards have no physical existence, no one can steal or clone them for misuse. If you want to cancel your card for any reason, you can conveniently do so from your smartphone or computer.
How to Apply for a Virtual Card?
You may apply for a virtual card through your bank’s net banking facility. Provide your primary card details and apply for a virtual card. Set the credit card limit and confirm the issuance of a virtual card. Enter the OTP sent to your registered mobile number to issue your virtual card.
You can create virtual credit cards not only through your bank’s website but also through third-party websites. However, since you need to provide your credit card details, you must be cautious while creating your card on these sites. It is always safe to get your virtual credit card from your bank only. While the economies are going cashless to a great extent, virtual cards can help you shop online without any risk to your financial security. For those using credit cards to transact online and offline, a virtual credit card can be an excellent alternative to mitigate any risks involved.