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What is a Virtual Debit Card?

What is a Virtual Debit Card?
How can a debit card be virtual? Many of us might wonder aloud. Well, there are some credit and debit cards that are indeed like that. The following article elaborates briefly, the concept of a Virtual Visa or MasterCard.
Scholasticus K
Since the introduction of online purchase procedures, people have faced severe problems regarding thefts and frauds. Identity thefts, that one may suffer while following online shopping procedures, often severely affect a person's financial status and credit ratings. Such thefts are often considered more worse than actual theft of credit cards. In order to address such problems of online frauds and identity thefts, credit and debit card providers have come up with a concept known as a 'virtual card'.

About Virtual Credit Cards

As the name suggests, this is a debit card that does not have a physical existence. Even on the Internet, when a person undergoes business transactions through it, no personal information is revealed and hence, it is an identity theft-proof card. The next question that might come into a person's mind is about its usage, since it doesn't have any actual existence; the answer is simple; it exists only on the Internet. After a person applies for it, the credit card provider usually assigns a 16 digit number, which is emailed to him, along with other details. It is safe to say that the 'card' is actually an account.

The next step is about its actual usage, and it is to be loaded as any other debit card. While doing so, a bank account, or another credit or debit card is employed. In most cases, the user cannot use more than the amount that has been loaded into this card. After it has been loaded, it becomes valid for online purchase. While phrasing, the verification code is to be submitted to the merchant. This is an identity verification number which is used along with the normal debit card number. Thus, to make a long story short, while using a virtual card, you will need only 3 things to make a safe payment:
  • A loaded debit card
  • A 16 digit card number
  • An identity verification number
Controlled Payment Number
In order to make credit card payments and debit card purchases, the online purchase companies have come up with a controlled or substitute credit card number which is used for payments, and it is basically a concept that is parallel to the virtual card. In such a case, both the identity verification and controlled payment numbers have a certain expiration date that ranges from 2 months to an entire year. Once the transaction is over, this temporary number disappears and any fraudulent user cannot trace it. Some numbers are for a single transaction but there are few that last for multiple transactions. Such codes, which are very useful for less frequent Internet shoppers, are granted by some selected banks and credit providers. It must also be noted that the above mentioned facilities are highly effective in improving credit ratings.

If you are a frequent Internet shopper, then it will be advisable that you get a virtual card, as it is safe, quick, and easy. You can apply and get them whenever you need to immediately go on a shopping expedition.