In 2019, there were more than 3,000 data breaches in the US alone. This shows that although it is very convenient to do online shopping, there is a certain risk involved. However, if you enjoy doing online shopping, there is a solution for you since you can use a virtual debit card or a virtual prepaid debit card. These virtual cards are offering a great solution when you want to shop online because they are secure. Below, we shall focus on how virtual debit cards work, who qualifies for these cards, how you can get a virtual debit card, benefits of a virtual debit card and so much more.
Therefore, without much ado, let us get right into it, shall we!
How Virtual Debit Cards Work?
Virtual debit cards act as a secure bridge between your bank account and the merchant you are shopping from. They offer great protection against threats caused by merchant breaches, overcharges by merchants, hackers, or fraudsters.
There are visual service providers who have a verification procedure that you have to undergo before they can issue you with the card.
The good news though is that the verification process is quite simple and short since it only takes a few clicks and you are good to go. Having a scanner nearby or having your identification documents online will save you a great deal of time when signing up for a virtual debit card.
The company providing the virtual card will need to verify that indeed you are who you claim to be and as such will need to see an identification document. You will also be required to provide a valid residential address, contact number, and bank account number.
Once your information is verified, you will then be issued a virtual debit card. The virtual debit card is linked to your bank account. But the good thing is that your bank account details are safe should a hacker manage to hack the virtual card. It is impossible to trace back the virtual card number to the bank account that it is tied to a virtual debit card making it a safe option for online shopping.
How Can You Get A Virtual Card?
Getting a virtual card is very easy as the whole process takes place online. As earlier stated, if you have all the required documents, then getting a virtual card takes just a matter of minutes. The good thing is that there are no physical forms that you need to fill and mail to your provider. The whole process is online which makes it very fast and easy.
It is also important to note that a virtual debit card does not look like a normal card but rather it is a series of numbers that you use to make online purchases. However, the virtual card works similarly to the physical card.
Benefits of Virtual Debit Card
One of the greatest advantages of a virtual debit card is the security it offers. First, even if the merchant where you do your shopping is breached, you’d not worry since your account number is safe. Secondly, virtual debit cards are not attractive targets for hackers since they know that obtaining information is useless. You can easily close down your virtual card in the event of a breach. It is also possible to get a one-time-use virtual card to conduct your online shopping. Therefore, one of the greatest advantages of a virtual debit card is security.
Another great advantage of a virtual debit card is that if you do not have a physical debit card, you can still shop online using a virtual debit card. With a virtual card, you can control your online spending by setting a limit on your card. This means that you will not overspend. You can also cancel at any time without any fines or penalties charged.
A virtual debit card is similar to a physical card with the only difference being that you can only use a virtual debit card virtually (online). For a physical debit card, you can use it in the physical world like in a store to pay for your purchases.
Top 8 Best Virtual Debit Cards
1. Privacy – Virtual Debit Cards
Privacy is one of the best virtual debit card providers in the market today. As the name suggests, the company keeps your information to itself and will not sell it or give it away to a third party. With the company, you are assured of total privacy.
The company gives you some amazing features which are highlighted below:
- You will not be charged anything to register for a virtual card.
- At Privacy, you have the option to create a card that you use once or reuse it as often as you want. A card that gives you an option to use once is awesome for you can make a purchase on websites that you are not sure about.
- It is possible to lock your card to only one merchant so that it becomes impossible to use the card anywhere else.
- You can also set the maximum spending limit that you want for your card. You can either set the limit per shopping or charge, set the total limit or set the limit per month or per year.
- It is possible to define which bank you want the card to be drawing its money from.
- It is possible to pause and resume your card at any time depending on the convenience
- Do you want to permanently disable your card? No worries, all you have to do is cancel it.
- It is extremely easy to create Privacy virtual debit cards on Chrome
- You can either use your card on a computer or though your mobile device since the company supports both Android and iOS devices.
There are other numerous features of Privacy virtual cards. At times, whiles hopping online, you are not very sure about the authenticity of the merchant. You might be afraid they will sell or give away your information. Privacy allows you to create a merchant-locked virtual credit card such that the card cannot be used anywhere else. Additionally, you can set the spending limit of the card to the exact amount of the item(s) that you are buying.
Another great feature of privacy is that you can sign up for trial cards and make the online purchase that you want using the trail card.
Another great feature of the company is that you will see all your visual card transactions. This information is important since you will get to know your spending habits and rectify where need be.
To enhance the security of your card, Privacy has a two-factor authentication process. This means that even if someone got hold of your PIN without your knowledge, they would not be able to use the card due to the second authentication requirement.
When you make a purchase with your Privacy card, you receive 1% cashback. However, in order for this feature to work, you need a Cashback key.
2. Blur – Virtual Debit Cards
The second company on our list is Blur. It is also another great virtual card provider that ensures that your real information is not revealed.
One way the platform protects you be by buying gift cards on your behalf. Once you are ready to make a purchase, the system generates a gift card number for you and you use that number to make the payment for the item that you want to buy. This process happens fast and also covertly.
When it comes to using your virtual card, the process is also easy and seamless. You can use your virtual number to make the purchase or you might choose to make another masked card. When you choose to use the masked card, you will just have to feed the cost of the purchase to the system, and Blur will generate a card number so that you can make the purchase without revealing your identity.
When it comes to using the platform, you can either use the Blur mobile app or use the Blur Chrome desktop extension.
If you want more features, then you might want to get Blur Premium. The company gives you a chance to check out Premium free for the first 30 days. After the 30 days period, you can either purchase the basic plan which goes for $40 per year or you might go for the unlimited plan which will cost you $15 per month. For the unlimited plan, you can pay less if you subscribe to the $100 per year option.
3. Skrill – Virtual Debit Cards
With Skrill, you can not only use a virtual debit card, but it is also possible to send and receive money internationally. You can also shop online and buy cryptocurrency. With a Skrill virtual debit card, it is possible to make a purchase anywhere that Master card is accepted.
Skrill’s virtual debit card allows you to hide your real information from websites. You can either have a virtual card in PLN, USD, BBP, or EUR. Another great feature of the card is that you can cancel it at any time. You can also choose the option where the card cancels automatically after a specified period.
You get the first virtual debit card for free but subsequent ones have an application fee of 2.5 pounds. However, the cards do not have an annual fee.
4. Netspend – Virtual Debit Cards
When you decide to use Netspend, you should have as much as 6 temporary numbers. These numbers are normally used for online shopping either through a computer or through a mobile app.
With Netspend virtual card, your financial information is secure since you do not have to share your real debit card number when engaging in online shopping. It is possible to create a virtual debit card specifically for the purchase. Once you make the purchase, go can go ahead and cancel the purchase at no extra cost.
With the platform, it is possible to create a virtual debit card on a trial basis and you are not charged anything. Once you make the purchase using the free trial virtual debit card, you can cancel it so that you will not be charged. Should you like the service though, all you need to do is upgrade your account temporarily and choose the appropriate plan.
It is possible to customize your Netspend card with a personal photographer a photograph of anything that you like giving it that personal touch.
5. EPay Service Master Card Virtual Payment Card
EPay Service Master card Virtual Payment Card offers you a perfect alternative to plastic cards when it comes to online payments.
With the platform, you can either choose the virtual single or the virtual multi. Below are features of the single non-reloadable option:
- You can make a purchase of up to $3500.
- You can have as many as 10 virtual cards.
- It does not have a monthly fee
- You will not pay any purchase transaction fee
Here are the features of the multi-use reloadable virtual card
- The dally purchase limit is 5500 US dollars
- You will not be charged anything to unload back to the EPay Service account.
The good thing with the two options is that you can use EPay Services to either make a one-off payment or you can use the service to make recurring payments using the reloadable virtual debit card.
The registration process takes less than a minute. Additionally, it ensures that your main debit card remains secure and you can make payments in USD, EUR, or GBP currencies.
Getting a virtual card from the platform is also really easy and fast. Here is what you need to do:
- Log into your online EPay Service account and go to the card’s order page
- If you one an onetime card, choose the value that you want to purchase if you want to replenish a card, choose the value as well.
- When you do so, your card is ready for use and the whole process takes less than a minute.
6. US Unlocked – Virtual Debit Cards
The credit company is aptly named the US unlocked because it is the only one that allows people who are not in the US to shop from US stores. With the company, you can either get a virtual debit card that is locked to a specific merchant or a one-time card. With a locked virtual card, the card is locked on the merchant on who it is first used. Therefore, if you want to use a US unlocked card for subsequent purchases, choose the store where you will be doing your purchases wisely.
With the one-time-use virtual card, the card becomes dysfunctional two minutes after the purchase making it a very secure card to use. It is therefore a good option to use on stores that you are not very sure about or you will not make any more purchases in the foreseeable future.
In order to access the services of the US unlocked, you will need to provide a shipping address. Getting the card is not free though as you will need to pay an activation fee of $15, the good news though is that it is a one-time fee. You will also be charged an account loading fee. You will also have to pay a $3.5 account maintenance fee when you have cash in your virtual card and also a fee of $0.5 per transaction.
Below is a list f the avenues you can use to load your US unlocked account:
- WeChat Pay
7. EzzoCard – Virtual Debit Cards
The most outstanding feature of the EzzoCard is that apart from being a virtual debit card, it is also an international virtual visa gift card. You can get the international virtual cards in either USD or Canadian dollars. Another great feature with the card is that you can pay for the virtual card without anyone knowing your identity through Web money, cryptocurrency Perfect Money, and other similar platforms which do not have any verification checks.
The application process is also fast and simple and it will take around five to 30 minutes to get your virtual debit card.
8. EcoPayz – Virtual Debit Cards
The company is the creator of Eco Virtual Card. The company operates a bit differently from its counterparts in that once you use your virtual card to make a payment, it is automatically canceled. The company specializes in one-time virtual cards which are very secure. If you want to make multiple purchases using the Eco virtual card, then, you simply create a new card for each purchase.
The good thing is that creating an Eco virtual card is free but the times you can create one depends on your account type. EcoPayz has one of the friendliest terms when it comes to companies that provide international virtual cards.
Key Consideration Before Picking a Virtual Debit Card
One of the greatest factors that you should put into consideration when choosing a virtual debit card is security. Even though virtual debit cards are rather secure, choose the company that offers top tight security.
Another factor to consider is the type of currencies that you buy the virtual debit card in. for some; you can get them in USD, GBP, CAN, and a host of other currencies. The more options the better.
Another very important factor to consider while getting a virtual debit card is the cost of the card and other fees. Some companies charge application fees, maintenance fees, and transaction fees. It is therefore important to check all the fees before you settle on the virtual card that you want to use.
Before going for a virtual debit card, find out if the company offers a one-time use card or a rechargeable card, or both. If you want to make a one-time purchase, you can go with the one-time use card.
FAQ – Frequently Ask Questions
Who Can Get a Virtual card?
In the past, virtual credit cards were available for individuals but nowadays even businesses are using virtual cards. Therefore, these cards are available for both individuals and for businesses alike. They are becoming popular especially for businesses since they offer protection when conducting online purchases.
Virtual cards also reduce expenses since you can use them instead of checks, money orders, and invoices.
Can you withdrawal money from a virtual debit card?
No, it is not possible to withdraw money from a virtual debit card. However, you can use the money to buy a gift card and turn the gift card into cash.
Where can I use a virtual debit card?
You can use a virtual debit card at any online store that accepts debit card payments. But you cannot use the card in a physical location.
Can you transfer money from a virtual card to a bank?
Yes. You can transfer the cash to your PayPal account and then to your bank account.
Does Wal-Mart accept virtual Visa cards?
Yes. Lucky enough, Wal-Mart gives its customers the privilege to do the shopping and pay using a virtual debit card.
What banks offer virtual debit cards?
- Bank of America
- Capital One
How can I get a free virtual Visa card?
Virtual card providers either have Visa or MasterCard virtual debit cards. Therefore, to get a free virtual Visa card, just select one on this list that offers a free virtual visa card. You can also search online for other options.
Can I transfer money from a virtual card to PayPal?
Yes, it is possible to transfer money from a virtual card to your PayPal account. This requires you to add your card as an alternative payment option for it to work effectively.
Which apps give virtual debit cards?
Most of the companies highlighted above have an app whereby you can apply for your virtual debit cards. Some of them include:
Does PayPal have virtual debit cards?
Yes, PayPal now offers a virtual debit card. However, this is possible only where MasterCard debit cards are accepted.
A virtual debit card is similar to a physical plastic debit card in that you can use it to make payments and you can also reload it. The major difference though is that you can only use it to make payments online and you cannot use it in a physical store like you can use a plastic card to make payments. One great advantage of a virtual debit card is that it masks your account number thus offering you protection against hackers and other malicious attacks like scammers. There are several companies that offer virtual debit cards all with different terms.
We believe that you are now more knowledgeable on virtual debit cards and you can make an informed decision when it comes to the choice of a virtual debit card.