at the airport — the virtual credit card will not be valid in this case. Since a virtual credit card does not have a physical existence, it cannot be cloned, making it highly secure for all transaction purposes.
For all practical purposes, virtual credit cards can only be used online and are the perfect solution for online shopping. There may be instances where transactions can be carried out over the phone; in such cases, a virtual credit card is useful only if the sales executive undertaking the transaction is using the online payment channel on behalf of the customer.
Don’t own a credit card?
A virtual card can be generated with your debit card as well. In this case, the amount topped up into the virtual card is debited from your savings bank account. Another good option is the e-wallet, which is generated and set up against your savings bank account. These options come with the same provisions and limitations as that of a virtual credit card. The only difference is that in this case the balance amount on the card is transferred back to your savings bank account and deducted immediately from your bank account. It is not billed against your card.
Apart from the banks mentioned above, the virtual card facility is offered by many private websites too. Since for topping up a virtual credit card, you have to provide your credit card details, it is important to ensure that the private site is secured too. The biggest benefit of a virtual credit card is that it is completely controlled by you in terms of validity, credit limit and usage. Therefore, you need not worry about losing it or its misuse.
The writer is CEO, BankBazaar.com