Identity frauds and information theft on internet while you shop online are very prevalent now-a-days.Â We always fear and step back when it comes to enter our credit or debit card number to pay on Internet. Sometimes we just keep very less limit on our credit card in order to satisfy our fear that though the credit card information is stolen, it does not cost us a lot!
If you like to shop on internet and cannot resist buying a Digicam, don’t think twice of credit card misuse before coming to a decision! Internet technology has advanced to the extent that most of the banks today are offering you a new feature free of cost called Virtual Credit Cards which is offered to avoid the same reason you fear of. In fact you can find PayPal too offering the service thinking it inevitable!
Virtual Credit Cards
As the name suggests, this a credit card that is not in hard or plastic form. Our normal credit cards are actually information sources in electronic format which we can swipe and pay by. But as on internet, it is not possible to swipe the card, some unique information needs to be provided at the time of purchase (like CVV number and card expiration date) which can be stolen if the payment system of the merchant from whose site you are shopping is not secure or is hacked. To avoid this, your bank can give you a credit card number with one time information with as small limit as you require for your purchase. You can enter this information on the merchant’s site to make the necessary payment. As this information is valid for one time purchase, though anyone steals this information, no worries!!
What you get and you do is…
- The actual credit/debit card number is never used in the online transactions. Therefore, there is no risk of the actual card number getting exposed during the online transaction or on the merchant website.
- You get everything virtual i.e. that is Virtual Credit Card number, virtual CVV or CVC number and virtual expiration date.
- For credit cards, Virtual Card amount can be upto the available card limit. This can be specified by you at the time you register for the Virtual Credit Card.
- As soon as you create a card, the amount is debited from your actual card. To play safe, create a virtual credit card just when you have to purchase on internet and with the amount you intend to spend. As it is a single transaction card, once you spend with it, its game is over as it can be never used again. If you do not use the virtual credit card, the amount is debited back to your actual credit cards in a few working days (as per the bank’s specifications). So you get the money back!
- The virtual credit cards are valid for a day or two (varies bank by bank).
- After the end of the validity period i.e. when the card expires (after a day or two) the unutilized amount will be credited back to your Credit or Debit Card account.
Don’t use the card when…
- You will be required to present your actual plastic Card to receive your purchase, e.g. for purchase of some airline and movie tickets – check each merchant’s policy carefully before you purchase!
- Card is to be used for recurring or installment payments
- You have to register to the virtual card service provided by your bank on the bank’s site. You will mostly get a user-id and a password for using this service anytime. Keep this user-id and password information safe and notify the bank in case you doubt any misuse.
- Check with your bank that for which card network (Visa, MasterCard etc) it provides this virtual card feature.
- There can be bank specifications on credit or debit cards that how many virtual cards can be generated per day.
- Virtual Credit Cards are only for purchases on Internet. They cannot be used for purchases to be ordered on telephone or thru mail orders.