Instances of credit card fraud have become daily news over the last few years. These cards come with multiple utilities that make it practically impossible to stop using them.
So, how do you continue to benefit from credit cards and protect yourself against scams too? The answer lies in a virtual credit card (VCC). If you are not aware of what it is, read on to learn everything you need to know about it.
What is a virtual credit card?
A VCC is a unique number that is linked to your primary credit card account. It lets you make transactions from your existing credit card account without using your card’s account number.
So, the original credit card details remain unexposed when you use the VCC. It comes with a lot of flexibility as you can set an expiry date and spending limit for the VCC. You can also decide to use it with one seller only and set the limits accordingly.
Some credit card issuers also allow you to delete or lock a VCC account number. This facility ensures that you do not have to change or delete your primary card account due to any fear of fraud.
You can then create a new virtual account to continue making transactions. The original credit card remains unexposed when you use a VCC, eliminating any possibility of unauthorized purchases.
Benefits and features of virtual credit cards
Now that you understand what is a virtual credit card, let us look at its five key features and benefits.
1. Improved security
The primary purpose of VCCs is to eliminate risks, they ensure security with multiple benefits. To begin with, you have the option to use these cards only once while the virtual number stays active for 24 hours to 48 hours.
Further, the VCCs are available online only, eliminating the possibility of theft or loss. Moreover, making transactions using VCC requires generating a one-time password (OTP), which makes the card even more secure.
Some issuers also let you cancel the virtual card when you need to, further reducing any risk.
2. Immediate availability
When you apply for a VCC, the card company issues it online. You can access the online virtual credit card immediately for transactions as soon as it is available.
You do not have to wait for it to arrive by mail or collect it from the issuer’s branch office like a traditional credit card. With VCCs, you may start making transactions anytime you require.
3. Transaction limit
You might think that a transaction limit is a disadvantage; however, it lowers the possibility of fraudulent transactions.
In addition, the transaction limit works exactly like a conventional credit card, ensuring there is no added complication. Also, the credit limit of the virtual card stays the same as your primary credit card.
4. Instant application
Applying for a VCC is a quick process. You may use your laptop or smartphone to apply for the virtual number online from the comfort of your home.
Your card company then issues the VCC, allowing you to start making digital transactions instantly. VCCs also come with the facility of instant online blocking.
So, you can discontinue the virtual card immediately if there is any security concern. This option provides you more control while making the process safer.
5. The CVV does not change
The Card Code Verification (CCV) number of the virtual card stays the same throughout the entire time it is active. Therefore, you can make as many transactions as you need using the same CVV. The number changes only if you cancel the virtual card and get a new one.
How to use a virtual credit card
Once you generate a virtual credit card, you can use it online at any time. You should keep in mind that it is not possible to swipe VCCs to make purchases like a regular credit card. You must follow the below steps to use the virtual card.
- Input the VCC number
- Enter the required validity information
- Use the OTP received on your phone to verify the transaction request
- Complete the transaction process
Why should you apply for a virtual credit card?
Other than security, there are multiple different reasons why you must apply for a virtual credit card and take advantage of this advanced facility. Here are three ways a VCC can make your life easier.
1. Transferable credit limit
If you are worried about the unused credit limit of a VCC, put your mind at ease. If there is any credit limit left after the VCC expires, the card issuer automatically transfers the limit to your primary credit card. This ensures that the credit limit on a VCC is never wasted.
2. International transactions
One of the best aspects of virtual cards is that you can use them to make both domestic and international purchases and transactions. Therefore, if you have a VCC, you may shop online without worrying about geographical limitations.
3. No additional cost
What is better than a secure VCC? A safe and free virtual credit card. Most credit card companies are presently offering the VCCs without any cost. So, you do not have to pay any charge when getting the virtual card.
1. Can you make offline purchases using a virtual credit card?
No, you can only use VCCs online, to make digital transactions. This is because virtual cards do not exist physically, making it impossible to swipe them on a machine.
2. Can add-on credit cardholders get a virtual credit card?
No, the VCCs are presently not available for add-on cardholders. Only the primary credit card owners can use the VCC linked to their card. But you should keep in touch with your issuer to stay updated about any changes to the criteria.
3. How do you get a virtual credit card?
If you already have a regular credit card, you may contact the issuer and inquire about the application process of a VCC. You can also check their official website for more information.
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