There are more and more ways to pay for goods and services in stores now, and it can be hard to keep up with them all. Maybe you’ve heard of virtual cards and are not quite sure how they work, or maybe you’re looking for a new way to pay for items. In this article, we’ll go over what virtual visa cards are, and how to use them to shop online or buy items in a store.
What is a virtual visa card?
Virtual visa cards have become more and more popular because they offer convenience and good safety for people when they are shopping. Virtual cards are mostly used for online stores, but more people want to use them to shop in person as well.
A virtual card is an electronic card that you can use for shopping. This means that you do not have to remember where you left your physical card, and it also means you don’t have to remember a long string of numbers.
Is a virtual visa card a credit or debit card?
You can get both types of virtual cards – a virtual debit card or a virtual credit card. The exact details of these cards will be different based on which bank or credit card company you are with, but generally they should have similar functionality.
Can I use a virtual visa card in a shop?
Yes, but there are limitations. If you have a virtual card, you can add this to your virtual wallet in Google Pay, Samsung Pay, or Apple Pay, allowing you to use the card for contactless payments. Contactless payments are much more widely accepted than they were a few years ago, and you will often find that a lot of shops accept this payment type – in fact, even some public transport such as buses and metro systems will take contactless, as will some market stalls and bars, restaurants and other eateries.
However, you should be aware that not all places accept contactless payment, and there are still problems with the contactless payment technology that means they can sometimes fail to go through. This means that it can be worth carrying some cash money, meaning that you can complete your purchase even if the payment system is down.
It is also entirely up to the vendor or store or service whether or not they will accept contactless payment, as well as whether or not they will accept payments from virtual cards. This means that you should always research where you’ll be able to pay if you intend to use a virtual card when visiting shops or bars.
What is my mobile wallet?
Your mobile wallet or digital wallet is the term for apps that let you store card details on your phone, meaning that you can pay wirelessly via your phone even when you do not have your physical card with you. This is usually available on a lot of modern smartphones. It is often only an option on phones with good security measures such as fingerprint recognition – this is to make sure that no one can use your digital wallet if your phone gets stolen or if you lose it.
Your digital wallet will give you options to add multiple cards, and you can then select which card you wish to use to pay. You can usually add virtual cards, digital cards, and prepaid cards to your virtual wallet.
Can a virtual debit card be used for ATM access?
Some ATM companies and banks may let you access an ATM using your virtual card. However, this is even less common to find than shops that let you use your virtual card. This means that if you need cash while you are out and about, you might have to visit a bank and access money straight from your bank account.
How do I use a virtual visa card?
A virtual visa credit card or debit card can be added to your digital wallet. From here it can be used contactless with a contactless payment system, as long as you have a smartphone or another device that lets you access your virtual wallet while out and about.
If you are left with no other way to pay, some merchants may accept a transfer using your virtual card, but you should by no means rely on this. If in doubt, you should always have a second way to pay.
Where else can I use a virtual card?
The primary use for virtual cards is online. This is where most people make payments using virtual cards. This is quick and simple and is the initial reason that virtual cards gained popularity. Many virtual card types have card information such as the card number that changes periodically. This means that if you accidentally use the card on an untrustworthy website, or if your personal information gets leaked by a website, people cannot use your personal card.
You may also be able to use a virtual card for mail order purchases, though this will depend on whether or not the telephone merchant can accept this payment time. You will often struggle to use a card like this with a paper form for mail order, as there is a delay between you sending the form and the payment going through, during which time your card information may have changed.
What other types of electronic cards are there?
As well as virtual cards, you can also get a digital card, and a prepaid card. These both have different features to virtual cards. Many shops also offer virtual gift cards.
What is a digital card?
A digital card is generally a term used for the digital version of a card you have in person as well. These cards can be used in a very similar way to virtual cards. There are however a few differences, for example, your digital card number will remain the same, as it is the same number on your physical card. However, a virtual card number can change regularly – sometimes after each transaction – in order to keep the card safe and make it harder for people to use it if they get access to your information.
What is a prepaid card?
A prepaid card, also called a virtual prepaid debit card, is a card that does not have a link to any bank account or financial institution. You can load a certain amount of money onto this card, and once that money has been used, the card no longer works. Sometimes these cards cease to exist once all the money has been used – they are nothing more than the card information stored on the internet, so they get deleted once there is no more money on them. Some prepaid debit cards can be re-loaded with money though, meaning that you can put money on them, spend that money, and then put more money onto them. Cards that cannot be reloaded with money are great ways to gift people money that can be easily used online.
Prepaid cards can be very useful if you want to make sure that your card cannot be used to empty your bank account. Having a set amount of cash on the card means that even if someone gets hold of your card information, they can only make online purchases or on store purchases up to the value of the card. It also means that you can keep to a firm budget, which can be really useful if you struggle with budgeting or overspending. If you want this kind of feature without having to have another digital card, you can also make sure that your digital card or virtual card only connects to a bank account with a set amount of money – of course you also need to make sure that this account cannot go into overdraft, or you could have a lot of fines racked up.
What is a virtual gift card?
A virtual gift card is probably the simplest type of card on the list. A lot of shops offer gift cards, including big box retailers, huge online marketplaces, and smaller stores. Gift cards have been a quick and easy way to give someone a present for years, and having digital gift cards means that the functionality of these gifts has been improved. E-gift cards can be easily used online, using the card number, a code, or other card details. They can also often be used in physical stores that accept the gift car too. However, just as with most normal gift cards, you should be aware of the expiration date on these. Some companies put shorter expiration dates on virtual gift cards because the ease of use means that people tend to use them sooner.
Are virtual cards safe?
There are obviously a lot of safety and security concerns with using finance apps, online banking, electronic wallets, and virtual cards. However, banks, app developers, and financial institutions all put a lot of work into the security of their products. We’ve already mentioned how a lot of virtual wallets require fingerprint recognition or PIN numbers, helping make sure that your cards are safe. If you are worried about security, you can always focus on getting virtual cards that generate new card information every time they are used, as this helps prevent people from using them, or you could focus on prepaid cards.
Virtual cards can be very easy to use, once you get used to them. However, it is always worth remembering that some places still only take cash.