M2P Fintech
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M2P Fintech

All You Need to Know About Virtual Cards

Virtual cards at work

Today’s consumers use apps and e-com sites for their shopping needs. Right from festive shopping to weekly grocery needs, online is the place to go.

In fact, the first online marketplace evolved in the 1990s to buy and sell used goods. And, now it has become a necessity, given the current situation. Nevertheless, it paves the way for online fraud as well.

Given the right code, anyone can hack and gain access to your card information and relieve you of your funds. So, the question remains: How to make online transactions much safer?

Well, fret not! We have got you covered through Virtual Cards.

What is a Virtual Card?

Virtual cards are payment cards available only in the digital format. The 16-digit electronic cards come with a custom spending limit and can be instantly issued. They are usually valid for a short period.

The specialty of virtual cards is that your debit or credit card number or primary account information is not shared with the merchant, thereby shielding you further.

In India, virtual cards are limited to eCommerce transactions and can be used only once. However, globally, they are used for online and offline transactions and are available as single-use or multi-use cards.

Available as a one-time use or as a recurring card

How virtual cards work?

In addition to physical cards, banks also issue virtual cards, usually when the customer requests them.

A customer who holds a primary account with a bank can apply for any number of virtual cards.

To create a virtual card, you need to provide your name, existing debit or credit card number, and card limit. Upon successful OTP verification, you would be shown the cardholder name, virtual card number, expiry date, CVV, and card limit.

When you purchase online using the virtual card, PIN and password are sent to your registered email or mobile number. The card will expire as soon as you complete the transaction, and the unused amount will be transferred back to your account.

Suppose you haven’t purchased anything within the valid date, the entire amount will be refunded to your account.

An extra layer of security and privacy

For every online transaction, a new virtual card number is generated and provided to merchants.

Enable secure online transactions

Even when the fraudsters access the temporary virtual card info, the primary card or the underlying account is not exposed.

So, you need not worry about the unauthorized charges or a hacker gaining access to your account. Moreover, you can freeze or cancel the virtual card and get your money back.

How corporate achieves smarter ops with virtual cards?

Melon is a consumer product company that sells trek cycles for adventurers. Meera heads the marketing team, and Krish leads the sales team. It’s no surprise that both the teams use a ton of SaaS subscriptions.

It was month-end, and Meera was busy analyzing the marketing budget spends. She suddenly got a call from Rintu, reminding her to reimburse the travel expenses during their H.Q. visit.

Another colleague pinged her to pay off the subscription fees. As Meera was quite busy, she shared her card info to them for reimbursement and renewal payment.

Offer dynamic spend control and expense categorization

Meanwhile, she noticed that Krish’s teammates were paying their expenses using individual cards. She later learned from Krish that his team has partnered with its bank and a Fintech firm and initiated a virtual card program.

All team members had their own Digi cards, and Krish controlled the card’s spending limits. From trips to subscriptions, they had cards for each category.

Meera thought virtual card as an excellent solution since it gave a 360° understanding of expenses. She discussed it with her team and implemented a new program.

What makes virtual cards preferable?

These programmable virtual cards offer intact visibility on spending, authorize transactions in real-time, and comes with increased security.

Powered by open APIs platforms, they have many defining features that give them an edge over traditional cards.

Virtual card features

What does the future of virtual cards hold?

In India, several banks have already collaborated with many fintech partners and have launched many invaluable programs.

Globally, virtual cards have also experienced tremendous growth in the past five years and will continue to boom.

P.S. For those keen on how virtual cards began, here’s a fun fact —

The travel industry was the first to pick up this splendid product. It needed a safe international fund transfer and excellent expense management solution back then.

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