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A virtual credit card, as the name aptly suggests, is a digital payment tool. Used for one-time transactions mostly, it is a great payment option for online purchases. These cards are specifically created so that online transactions can be carried out in a safe and secure way. The virtual credit card has a unique card number, a CVV number, and an issue and expiry date just like a regular physical credit card. Nonetheless, the card details are available online for car owners to view and use. A virtual credit card is for anyone who wants a seamless online transaction experience, with card activation that is almost instant. You could say that it’s a virtual form of your credit card (which it may be linked to), but safer to use.

Preventing Credit Card Fraud

As the world turns more digital, with most transactions going the online way, virtual cards offer a respite from fraudulent digital activity that is also on the rise. Despite stringent measures put into force by the Reserve Bank of India, to prevent debit and credit card misuse, the situation hasn’t quite come under control. In a 2017-2018 Reserve Bank of India report, India released data on 970 plus card fraud cases occurring once every three days or so. According to the statistics in the report, the loss to the banking sector was to the tune of INR 168.74 Cr. Organized crime was directed towards ATM transactions in the three years prior to FY 2017-2018 and into the first quarter of the year 2019.

Hackers on the Rise

As digital payments increase and consumers prefer to buy almost all consumables online these days, the opportunity for digitally hacking into credit card and debit card details is easy. Most credit card and debit card transactions require users to enter card details online, and these can be hacked into by savvy digital hackers around the world. In October 2019, debit and credit card information of nearly 1.3 million people were up for sale on a website known as “Joker’s Stash”. A huge 98% of this information consisted of data pertaining to Indian users. The virtual credit card, though operating through online usage, offers a more secure way to do business and transact.

How Safe is the Virtual Credit Card?

Everyone wishes to bolster their online security, with news like that of identity theft coming to the fore in recent years. That’s where the virtual credit card comes in. As fraudsters have invented many creative ways to wreak financial havoc on users who conduct online transactions, their methods may be foiled by the use of virtual credit cards. A virtual credit card keeps your information secure by masking details of your account from online spies. Virtual cards work by providing card numbers that are disposable after the transaction is complete. As a result, there’s no trace of this online. These cards are linked to the credit card account you have, so card activity will be displayed on your credit card statement as with any other purchases you make. All the while, your account number remains hidden from potentially prying eyes. Offered by select issuers of credit cards and banks issuing credit cards, they may be offered by third-party service providers too.

How to Enhance your Safety

The way a virtual credit card is used will depend on how you choose to use it. Unlike a credit card which can be used anywhere and with all kinds of products, virtual cards offer the security of being linked to the first merchant they are used with. This ensures a degree of safety, but since the card is tied to a particular merchant, the chances of hacking into your information are higher. You also get to use your virtual card another way.

You may use it for a single purchase and details get wiped out after that is done. This is the safest way to use it, since details are no longer available after a single-use. Unique card numbers are provided by credit card issuers (much like OTPs) for one-time use. Even if a virtual card number becomes compromised, a fraudster won’t be able to find any use for it as it will be deactivated. One more way to stay extra secure is to use a virtual credit card with a spending limit that you can predetermine yourself. You can also choose to set your own expiration date on the card, thereby ensuring that it can’t be used after a certain time.

A Secure Digital Payment Option

Users may go in for secure payment tools like the Bajaj Finserv RBL Bank SuperCard. This card comes with strong safety features like in-hand security and zero-fraud liability. A powerful multi-purpose digital payment device, this card harnesses the power of four cards in one and can act as an ATM/cash card, as a loan card, and as a credit card. Apply online and avail features like EMIs, and personal loans for 90 days at a minimal interest rate of just 1.16%, and zero processing fees.

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