Supriya was looking for a new mobile phone and checked various stores in her city. She found that the phone she was looking for was available at a bargain price on online shopping websites compared to physical retail outlets. Never having indulged in any online shopping activity in the past, Supriya was not sure whether shopping online would be the right thing for her. Considering that shopping online using a credit card would make her eligible for buying the phone in monthly installments, Supriya was in a dilemma; she wanted to go ahead and buy the phone online but was skeptical about the safety of her online transaction. Would her credit card information be safe online? What about all the hacking stories she came across frequently? If you are one of those like Supriya who are always a little skeptical in doing online transactions using your credit or debit card, virtual credit cards are here to make your life simpler.
An overview of Virtual Credit Cards:
With everything including shopping for groceries to buying apparels, electronic gadgets and bill payments all going virtual, would credit cards be far behind? Well they are not and have reincarnated in their virtual avatar as virtual credit cards. Virtual credit cards operate similar to the physical credit cards with some unique features making them distinct.
Firstly virtual credit cards are not issued physically like normal credit cards. Second most important trait of virtual credit cards is that they come for free and are not charged. It may be hard to believe that anything associated with a credit card facility can actually be free, but virtual credit cards are not only free but also allow the physical card holder to create his or her credit card as and when required. Simply speaking virtual credit card is like a onetime add-on credit card issued on behalf of your primary credit card. People who are not willing to use physical credit cards for online transactions can create a virtual credit card, which has all relevant details like a normal credit card.
How to Create a Virtual Credit Card:
Creating a virtual credit card is a simple process that can be easily followed by any physical card holder. A credit card holder can create his or her virtual credit card using the net banking facility. There is a dedicated link net banking interface of various banks for creation of a virtual credit card. The user will need to provide the card number, Valid From date, the expiry date and the credit card CVV number to the interface. Once submitted the net banking facility recreates the virtual credit card allowing the user to choosing the maximum limit on the card. Depending on the nature of transaction the user wants to commit online, he or she can chose the maximum limit of the virtual credit card.
Technically speaking the maximum limit of the virtual credit card can be equal to the limit of the physical credit card. The minimum limit for a virtual credit card is fixed at Rs. 100. One can top up to the virtual credit card with any amount that one needs for a successful transaction and the same would be credited by the bank. Also if there is any balance amount left on the virtual card it is credited back to the customer’s account. For example if one needs to make a purchase worth Rs 2500 online, all one needs to do is to create a virtual credit card with the maximum limit of Rs. 2500 and use its details while using the payment gateway. If the maximum limit is set at Rs.4000 for instance, the balance of Rs.1500 gets credited back to the customer’s account.
Operating Mechanism of Virtual Credit Cards:
The virtual credit card has its own unique 16 digit card number, expiry date, validity date and CVV number. The user can use these details for billing for any online purchase. Since virtual credit card expires in 24 hours or after one successful transaction, there is no fear of data theft for card users. Even if the card number and other details get hacked, they would be of no use for the intruder.
Virtual credit cards have been designed to offer safe operation during online transactions.
Debit Cards and Virtual Credit Cards:
For users not having a physical credit card, there is good news as most banks allow users with debit cards to create virtual credit cards using the same operation. The amount created as virtual credit card is debited from the bank account of the debit card holder. Apart from banks, a large number of online merchant websites have also initiated offering e-payment facilities like e-wallet which links the customer’s savings bank account to the virtual card allowing safe online transactions without the fear of any security threat.