Have you ever gone through news where an eCommerce site has been hacked, and all the credit card information it had on its users is stolen? Well, credit card scam is a common thing on the internet, and there are some ways to stay safe from such scams, getting a virtual credit card is one of them.
You can use a virtual credit card number, which will work for you just the way your actual credit card works, but excluding the potential of losing your bank information.
There are some essential things you must know about virtual credit cards before you tend to get your first virtual card, and I’m here to help with that.
5 Things to know about virtual credit cards
Here in this article, I will get you through the most important five things that will enable you to make wise decisions before sharing your bank information on random sites.
1. What is a Virtual Credit Card?
To put the idea in simple words, a virtual credit card is what it speaks for itself, it’s a credit card, but not a physical one. It’s just a regular credit card with which you can shop online or pay for a service you need from a random site, but you won’t have to worry about getting your bank information leaked to a potential hacker.
When you pay for something you buy online with your existing physical credit card, you need to put in the credit card number on that site. If that eCommerce or service-selling site is renowned for its security, you can keep yourself calm, thinking that your card number is safe in their database.
how does it work?
When you’re not sure if you should share the number on a random input field on the internet or not, you get terrified. To eliminate the potential of getting hacked, you can use a virtual credit card where you will do the same procedure but with no possibility for hacking or fraud. With a VCC (Virtual Credit Card), you will get a randomly generated number that looks exactly like a real credit card number.
You will use it while paying from your actual credit card as your VCC provider will connect the VCC to your Real Card. This VCC number is generated temporarily for a while, which will expire after a certain period and won’t contain any bank information.
2. Where can I get a Virtual Credit Card from?
As the concept of VCC is relatively new to the finance world, not all the banks and financial service providers are providing Virtual Credit Cards right now.
If you are looking forward to a well-established bank to get you a VCC, go for the Eno Virtual Credit Card service, provided by the Capital One bank, but you have to be an active cardholder of Capital one. Citibank is also giving the Virtual Credit Card service for its customers; you can apply for one today.
Free VCC service
If you want to go with Non-Bank and free service for VCC, I Can name “Pay With Privacy”. It’s a free tool for generating Virtual Credit card numbers without any credit card. It comes with tons of features like Single-use card generation, Spending limits, Transaction Suspension, Autofill Payment info, and so on.
Another free service is “Token”; it uses your existing credit or debit card to issue a VCC. It has two options to access, a Chrome browser extension or a free app that you can use on your smartphone.
3. Where not to look for a Virtual Credit Card?
Several renowned financial institutes are not providing VCC, yet if you are a customer of Card issuers like the MasterCard or Bank of America, you are not getting the service anymore.
The bank of America has discontinued its “ShopSafe” service, which was its Virtual Credit Card service. MasterCard also stopped its VCC service for its customers, just like The “Private Payment” VCC service for its customers back in 2004, starting in 2000. PayPal also discontinued its Virtual Debit Card service back in 2010.
4. What if my bank doesn’t have a VCC service for me?
If your bank doesn’t provide Virtual Credit Card service, you may ask what to do now! Where you can get a VCC service! Well, If you are okay with Non-Bank VCC provider, there are a wide range of options you can find online who are providing Virtual Credit Cards for their users.
There are VCC services based on websites and apps where you can generate VCC numbers for a certain period, which will expire after that time frame; this could be from a few hours, up to a year. Most of them will charge monthly or yearly, and there are free services available as well, but not that much safe to go with. If you
5. Are there any downsides to VCC?
Just like there are so many advantages of using a VCC, there are some disadvantages as well. The most annoying downside of VCC is that you cannot use it offline; they are designed specifically to pay online. If you are not a tech guy, you may feel a little uncomfortable to understand the whole system and get on with it.
If your Virtual Credit Card expires, you may find it hard to return, and you cannot use a VCC if your merchant requires a physical card as proof.
It’s the time when people are highly concern about data breaches; your credit card is a vulnerable point for you if you cannot protect the bank information that card holds on. Safeguard your bank information should have the foremost importance to you and a Virtual Credit Card helps you get your security to another level.
It protects you from the frauds no matter if the merchant itself makes a wrong move or hackers get their hands on the database. They may have a credit card number you provided, but they cannot retrieve any information useful to them to make your position vulnerable on the go.
Although the VCC is only possible to use online, not offline, it still provides a lot of security and peace of mind having one.