What's Behind Virtual Card Providers and How You Benefit

Virtual card providers unleash creativity and unlock access to virtual cards

Virtual card
Amanda Kilmer
Date Published
January 27, 2022
Read Time

Virtual card provider

You shouldn't have to play a game of hurry up and wait when issuing credit cards for customers. Virtual card providers allow businesses to get cards to customers securely and much faster than the traditional card production process; that's because there's nothing to print and nothing for customers to put in their back pocket. Virtual cards are purely digital, meaning virtual card providers and the businesses they empower can issue cards effortlessly and instantly.

Instead of waiting for a printer to design, press, and ship a physical card, you can mint your own virtual cards with just a few clicks and the help of a virtual card provider. Companies can then send them to whoever might need them — whether that's customers, employees, or independent contractors. 

Virtual cards bring businesses into the forefront of financial innovation by increasing customer satisfaction and expanding the control they have over the financial products they offer. Their card information is displayed digitally on either a tablet, desktop, or smartphone. With a few taps, they can make purchases using that new virtual card and never have to worry about losing it. The virtual card sits securely in their digital wallet. Companies can also set card limits and restrictions immediately and authorize transactions in real time. 

Virtual cards offer security and control

Using virtual cards, moving money is a snap. Card holders can easily add funds to their digital wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay. These platforms add an extra layer of security to the existing automated processes that virtual card providers have in place to identify, prevent, and resolve disputes. When it comes to security and protecting customers' accounts, speed is critical; virtual cards allow card providers and businesses to act much faster in securing their customers' sensitive information.

Additionally, using a virtual card for online payments eliminates any need for a physical card. Physical cards are commonly less secure than virtual cards; they can be lost by the card holder or cloned by a bad actor. Virtual cards provide all customers know and love about physical cards, but with less of the exposure and risk. They can be used whether a customer is traveling abroad or shopping around the corner while minimizing the danger of fraudulent transactions, providing additional online security that lowers the risk of disclosing card details to a merchant. Customers can gain more control over spending since they can immediately freeze or unfreeze their card online or via an app.

Virtual cards offer a great way for businesses to keep their spending in check. Companies can issue virtual cards for vendors, giving them the financial access they need to complete their work while making it easy for your accounting team to track which vendor spent what amount on what date.

Non-financial businesses can join in and offer financial products to their customers, too. By partnering with Bond, those companies can bring their vision to market quickly and confidently in order to better serve their end users with financial products powered by and managed on a single, unified platform. From the moment they’re created to the instant they arrive in a customer’s digital wallet, virtual cards can unleash company creativity and customer satisfaction.

Virtual credit card numbers mean flexibility

Card owners may be concerned about identity theft, which happens when someone wrongfully obtains their personal identifiable information (PII) such as their name, address, or financial information. Fraud erodes customer trust and customer engagement along with stunting potential future partnerships and revenue streams. For every $1 of fraud loss, it now costs U.S. financial services firms $4, compared to $3.25 in 2019 and $3.64 in 2020. That’s a very costly error.

Since virtual credit cards exist entirely online, the instant credit card number customers get is stored securely; this makes it a challenge for wrong-doers to steal any information connected to the cardholder's identity because there is no physical card. A virtual card can be safeguarded further by using strong authentication passcodes such as a personal identification number (PIN) or a dedicated password — and the new card numbers are valid as soon as you get them.

Virtual card users can create a virtual credit card number that can be customized with the flexibility of preset limits or the card can be cancelled immediately after just one use. This also allows providers to generate virtual credit card numbers for their customers with a click of a few buttons taking seconds.

Customers have the flexibility to issue new card numbers that can be used once for a specific transaction using virtual cards. After the transaction is completed, they can generate new card numbers to use in their day to day purchases. Transaction-specific rules and flexibility lower the incidence of fraud by preventing any attempts to misuse the virtual credit card number. Using a virtual credit card can also allow commercial card program administrators to improve their workflows by staying organized, staying within budget, and creating instant access for their fellow teammates.

Instant virtual cards and instant virtual cards online

Virtual card providers can issue virtual cards to customers on the spot but Bond is one of the few platforms that offers both credit and debit card options. Instant credit card approval and use is a game-changer for efficiency and customer experience. An instant virtual credit card can enable customers to make secure purchases online without having to submit their physical card number; instant virtual cards can allow customers to automatically oversee their spending limits to help protect them against fraud. By using a virtual Visa card or a virtual Mastercard, instant online payments can happen anywhere at any time.

Having a company credit card gives employees and consumers alike greater autonomy. Employees can quickly take on more responsibilities such as paying vendors or booking their own business travel. Using a virtual credit card improves productivity and minimizes accounting delays; when an employee moves on from a company, administrators can immediately deactivate the card and transfer payments to another card — a small task that shows big support for your finance team. A virtual credit card can also help businesses get a better handle on their expenditures by giving administrators a detailed dashboard to monitor.

Similarly, an instant virtual debit card is a top alternative to an instant virtual credit card while still providing confidence to use them online. It still acts in the same manner as a physical debit card, but it can erase the fear of using a physical debit card for online purchases. By getting an instant virtual debit card online, one is able to store the card information on any device and it can be accessed via online banking or payment apps. Cardholders use a virtual debit card number that a bank creates and distributes to make online purchases or contactless payments by simply scanning their phone over a card reader.

Virtual prepaid cards and virtual gift cards

Companies can tap into new revenue streams with virtual gift cards. It’s an efficient way for businesses to engage their current customers, increase sales, and to create additional business opportunities. Businesses can assign a designated amount to virtual gift cards, such as a Mastercard gift card, which they can then send to their consumers via email. Virtual gift cards make fantastic presents over the holiday season and also cut down on that possible unwanted present excess.

Virtual card providers also issue virtual prepaid cards — a digital card that is used to make internet purchasing more secure and can be used as a great budgeting tool. Cardholders can use their virtual prepaid cards online as long as the retailer accepts a prepaid Visa card,  Mastercard, or American Express.

However, virtual prepaid cards differ from virtual credit cards and virtual debit cards. Where a virtual debit card is attached to your bank account and pulls money with each purchase, a virtual prepaid card requires you to load the card with cash before use. With your virtual Visa card balance updated, you can spend up to the limit just as you would with any other card. Additionally, virtual prepaid cards are safer than cash as you can report your card lost or stolen after you’ve registered it.

Virtual prepaid cards are also easy to obtain; there is no credit check and are a good alternative if you can’t get a bank account because of a poor banking history. Virtual prepaid cards offer convenience with little or few fees attached making it a great starting point or re-building jump off.

Benefits of virtual credit card providers

Most companies optimize for speed, security and convenience — something that instant virtual credit cards provide. By creating a virtual card program for customers, companies can then tailor their business operational strategies to offer additional benefits. For example, companies use virtual cards to get a handle on their subscriptions, dedicating a virtual card for each SaaS platform instead of using spreadsheets for tracking platform access. By keeping an eye on these subscription payments, it also makes for a cost-savings experience, which not only gives the company better control over their spending, but also ability to put that money to use elsewhere.

With major credit card companies such as Mastercard and Visa becoming virtual credit card generators and being the benefactors of virtual cards, they bring validity and clout along with the safety and compliance backing their logos are synonymous with. The innovative features of virtual cards go beyond an extra layer of security or providing contactless payments; they also provide accountability for company employees. The best virtual credit card providers remove the roadblocks for your team to move at a faster pace and smoothly.

Bond as a virtual card provider

When companies choose to build with Bond, they partner with one of Bond’s partner banks so they can find the right fit for their business plan. Bond's range of product offerings are powered by developer-focused application program interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs). Designed to help companies simplify the process of building technology that can be integrated with banks, Bond's software solutions enable brands to offer products such as virtual credit and debit cards to their customers.

Create your own credit or debit cards in just a few clicks by contacting Bond or start to build in our sandbox!