Sep 232011
A guide to creating and using a Virtual Credit Card

A guide to creating and using a Virtual Credit Card  instead of your real Credit Card or Debit Card for your online transactions for better online security and safety of your online transactions. Read more to know how to generate a Virtual Credit Card and key benefits of using a Virtual Credit Card.

We have already talked about free software to boost your online security and secure & safe online transactions in our earlier posts. In this post we will talk about a safe way to use your credit card or debit card for secure online money transactions and safe banking. Use it and forget about your credit card security hassles!!

How to create and use Virtual Credit Cards

Image: Screenshot from HDFC website

What is a virtual credit card ?

Virtual Credit Card is an add-on credit card issued online on your primary credit card or debit card. It has no plastic  existence and  is available online only. Virtual Credit Card acts as virtual money carrier. It has a valid credit card number and CVV number, valid expiry date and a credit limit which you can set within your primary credit card limit. It can be a VISA card or a Master card depending upon your bank.

Advantages  of a Virtual Credit Card?

1. Virtual Credit Card can be used just as your real plastic credit card with the advantage that your real credit card number is never revealed to anyone while doing online transactions.

2. It is a one time use card.You can set your own credit limit for your virtual credit cards generated by you.

3. It provides a completely secure mode for shopping online.

4. All purchases made by you through self generated Virtual Credit Card appear on your credit card statement.

How to create a Virtual Credit Card?

You must possess a valid bank account with an international credit or debit card to generate a Virtual Credit Card. If you don’t have such a card, please apply to your bank. Also find out if your bank supports Virtual Credit Card.

In India following major banks support Virtual Credit Card facility:

  • HDFC Bank
  • ICICI Bank
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank
  • Axis Bank

Steps to generate a Virtual Credit Card card:

These steps vary from Bank to bank. So go to your bank’s website and check out the applicable method yourself to know the exact method of Virtual Credit Card creation for your bank.
In general this is what you need to do:
1. Go to your bank website and register for Virtual Credit Card facility. For example, HDFC bank provides this facility through Netsafe. Just log on to bank website and click on the “Payment Services” link. However on every bank’s website it may not be easy to find the relevant link to Virtual Credit Card facility. Better first ask your bank about how to avail this facility if you fail to find it yourself.

2. You have to provide your real Credit or debit card information to register. Also you need to set the limit of your Virtual Credit Card. You may be asked to choose a separate login and password for availing this facility of Virtual Credit Card.

3. Once registered you can create your Virtual Credit Card in no time. Just log on to your bank’s Virtual Credit Card facility and set your Virtual Credit Card credit limit and type of card. Your Virtual Credit Card will be generated with a valid 16 digit number and a valid CVV with specified credit limit. It will also contain your Name just like your real credit card.

View this demo from HDFC Bank website to get a hang of how it works.

Other Information about Virtual Credit Cards:

1. You can use Virtual Credit Card for all temporary payment requirements like Paypal verification, online purchase, downloading trial software etc.

2. You should not provide your Virtual Credit Card number whereever recurring payments are to be debited like Premium payments etc.

3. Normally it is provided for international credit card or international debit card.

4. Generated Virtual Credit Card is VISA or MasterCard.

5. You can use it for foreign currency payments. In case of foreign currency payments applicable conversion rates apply. For example, to pay $1 make a Virtual Credit Card of at least  Rs. 50/- if applicable conversion rate is $1= Rs. 50/-. Some banks may levy additional charges on Virtual Credit Card services so it is advised to make a Virtual Credit Card of a little more than required amount to avoid a shortfall and rejection of payment. Excess amount left in Virtual Credit Card will be refunded to you automatically in most cases.

Information presented above is general in nature only. In case you want to avail Virtual Credit Card facility, ask your bank for more details.

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