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Use virtual credit cards to make your online shopping secure

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Every day we read about fraud cases of using credit cards online. So, now most people hesitate to share their credit card details on websites for online transactions. To resolve this anxiety of credit card users, most banks are now issuing virtual credit cards for online transactions, but many people are not aware of these services. So, let’s understand about virtual credit cards in detail in this article.

What is a virtual credit card (VCC)?

Primary credit card holder can apply for an add-on visa credit card known as virtual credit card. However, these cards don’t have any plastic existence. You can instantly generate virtual credit card online by using net banking facility and by providing credit / debit card details on respective bank websites.

After generating VCC, you can view card number, validity details, expiry date and CVV number online which will be used only for online transaction. Using VCC enables you to do hassle-free online transactions and you don’t have to share details of your primary credit card.

Which banks are offering virtual credit cards?

Many banks are offering virtual credit cards. Listed below are some of the banks with respective website links for further information:

  • SBI Virtual Card: https://www.onlinesbi.com/virtualcard_home.html

  • Kotak netc@rd: http://www.kotak.com/Kotak_GroupSite/Kotak_BankSite/personal/cards/netcard.htm

  • Axis Bank e-wallet card: http://www.axisbank.com/personal/pay-bills-shop/e-wallet-card/online/features-benefits/features-benefits.aspx

  • ICICI VCC: http://www.icicibank.com/infinity/virtualcc_faq.html

  • HDFC NetSafe: https://netsafe.hdfcbank.com/ACSWeb/enrolljsp/HDFCValidate.jsp

How to create virtual card online?

Explained below are steps to apply online for SBI virtual card. Process will be similar to apply for cards with other banks too.

Step 1: Login to your online banking account (www.onlinesbi.com) and click on “Requests” tab and select “State Bank Virtual Card” option.

Step 2: Click on “Generate Virtual Card” tab.

Step 3: Enter the amount and select an account which will be debited for funding (initially lien-marking and later debiting) the Virtual Card.

Step 4: Enter the secure 8-digit password (OTP), received on your mobile.

Step 5: After successful validation, card image with card number, expiry date, etc will be displayed on the screen and your card is now created and available for online transaction.

*Note: Once you have used the card for online transaction, it expires. So, to execute another transaction, you will have to generate another virtual card by following above steps.

What is the validity of virtual credit card?

VCC cards are valid for a maximum of 24-48 hours or till the transaction is complete, whichever is earlier. So, probability of misuse of credit card is significantly lowered since details of primary card are not shared with merchants and this VCC also expires after one time usage.

What will be the minimum and maximum limit on virtual card?

The minimum credit limit on your virtual credit card can be Re.1/-. You can change the maximum limit on your VCC within the overall limit of your primary card.

What are the costs / fees to apply for virtual credit card?

Banks are offering these cards for free of cost to their customers.

Can we use the card while we are travelling abroad or shopping from international websites?

Yes, most banks are issuing cards which are valid while you are travelling abroad and you can use them on websites outside India. Cards issued by SBI are not valid outside India. So, we suggest you check with your bank whether it’s valid internationally. Virtual cards can be used on international websites like Amazon, etc for online shopping transactions.

How to make payments for generating virtual credit card transactions?

The amount of virtual credit card which you have issued will be visible in your monthly primary credit card statement. You can make the payment for this virtual cards before due date of your monthly credit card statement.

Can virtual credit card be generated by using a debit card?

Yes, most banks accept debit card details of same bank to generate virtual credit card for online transactions. Virtual cards are helpful to people who don’t hold credit card but it’s required for some online transactions like paying the fees for international course like Chartered Financial Analyst.

When you should use your virtual credit card?

  • On websites where you don’t have confidence about security of credit card details you share.

  • Share details of virtual credit card with your close friend / family member if they require for some online transaction or generate a virtual card for them as per limit they require. Here, you won’t be sharing details of your primary credit card which can be misused.

  • Shall issue virtual credit card for yourself if you don’t hold any credit card but have access to net banking facility or hold only debit card. This card will be helpful to complete your online transaction / shopping.

We feel using these virtual credit cards will make online shopping experience secure. So, plan to issue VCC card for yourself if you are not holding it. Also, share this information of virtual credit cards with your friends and family members who are swiping their credit cards for online transactions more frequently.

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