Virtual Cards can be used for online (or remote) purchases only because they do not exist in plastic and can’t be presented in-person. They avail additional security mechanics at user’s disposal and are easy for purchasing, storing and using directly via a Standard account for iCard Digital Wallet.
The primary reason for using virtual cards is that they give users an additional safety layer when shopping online. This is important because secure online browsing is not always easily achieved even for more advanced users.
What exactly is a virtual debit card?
It is a freshly generated 16-digit Mastercard or Visa card number in combination with a CVV code and expiry date. A virtual card connects to one of your accounts in iCard and can be used immediately after being generated.
iCard digital wallet, for example, gives you 2 free virtual cards with an option to store and use up to 20. And it is even possible to increase this number by request.
Why are virtual cards so useful?
The main reason is: You have a way to protect your primary bank account.
How? By not using your primary account’s debit card, but an iCard Virtual Visa or Mastercard, both of which are accessible after you verify your identity! You can choose one of your digital wallet IBAN accounts to purchase and link a new virtual card to it. This account can be quickly funded with just the money that you need for a particular payment.
You also reduce the risks with better control of your spending with custom limits and freeze/unfreeze options.
Our digital wallet lets you set single transaction, daily, weekly and monthly spending limits for each card and you can take advantage of custom naming for each card.
The best part is that you can actually freeze your virtual card immediately after a payment and make it useless for a thief. You can unfreeze again for a minute or two and make another payment before freezing it again.
You can delete a virtual card after 1-time use.
A lot of people shop online or add their card details for paid subscriptions at known, unknown and suspicious websites. When you have doubts, you simply go along with a virtual card. When you pay with such a card, the cost is taken out of the account that is linked to the card number. Then simply delete the virtual card.
You get an additional level of security.
Payments are protected with 256-bit SSL which disables tracing back someone’s account and matching it with other information for illicit uses.
Three (3) dangers that can be mitigated by virtual cards
Theft by fake, cloned or malicious websites.
These can be phishing websites that look like well-known:
- Tax services
- Online merchants
Take this example: An investigation revealed that just 1 large international retailer was mimicked by over 12,000 websites in hopes to lure unsuspecting people.
You can discover more on “How Fake Websites Can Trick Even The Savvy Online Shoppers” in our Medium article.
Hack in a web merchant or a payment provider system.
It was revealed just a couple of days ago that Capital One bank in the USA was hacked and personal data of over 100 Million clients was leaked into the hands of hackers.
Hacks and leaks seem impossible to avoid because we witness such events on a regular basis – in so many regions.
Shopping in suspicious websites.
Virtual cards can be your good friends when you do any kind of online shopping or subscriptions. Doesn’t matter if you are suspicious or not – at the end of the day it will pay off to avoid the hustle of recovering your money, even if you are protected by insurance.
What people shop online the most with virtual cards?
Most providers try to hook you onto their service by require payment information even if they don’t charge you during the trial period. The problem is that a lot of people forget to come back and cancel. Sometimes it’s simply hard to discover how to unsubscribe from the payment or it takes long enough for a manual cancellation and you can get charged for something you will not use.
This is another category that is so diverse with offerings. Clients are curious to try what’s on offer before committing to monthly payments. To save the hustle of unsubscribing, people prefer to subscribe with virtual cards and delete it if not needed any longer.
Gamers, programmers, designers and other digital professionals usually want to test new in-game goods, ready-to-use code, design templates or stock photos and videos. Tech-savvy people are more aware of the dangers and are cautiously paying online with virtual cards.
Online gambling and wagering is also an attractive venue for gamers. These websites carry the same risks of having clones or being hacked. This is a perfect reason most people prefer to make payments with virtual cards.
Payments on the phone
Yes – you can even buy over the phone with a virtual card. That’s what we mean by remote purchases. They too can be risky as the person taking the telephone order can actually record your information for illegal uses.
Use the free virtual cards in iCard
Once you verify your identity, you can start using your free Mastercard and Visa virtual cards.
From the home screen, tap on one of the cards to “take it out”.
Tap on “Pay” to reveal the 16-digit card number and the 3-digit CVV/CVC number.
You can also set your limits, freeze/unfreeze the card and see a list of past transactions from the buttons on the card.
How to get a new virtual card?
On your wallet screen, tap on the “+” menu to open the following screen:
Tap on “Virtual iCard” to open up the following selection screen:
Select the card type: Mastercard or Visa and the colour of your liking.
Next, select which of your accounts it should connect to: