What is a virtual business card, and how does it work?
While business credit cards are popular, they also present some security issues when they are used to make purchases online or over the phone. Virtual business cards help to provide more security to businesses when they make remote purchases. These are credit card numbers and CVV codes that are randomly generated.
Credit cards are widely used to make purchases as a preferred payment method around the world. Visa is the largest credit card processor in the world. There are 335 million Visa credit cards that are currently in use in the U.S. and 764 million around the world.
While virtual cards represent the underlying credit cards, they can’t be used to access the lines of credit that are attached to them. The virtual card numbers can be set to expire as soon as they are used so that the numbers will be useless if they are stolen.
What are the different types of virtual business cards?
There are different types of virtual cards to meet different business needs, including the following:
- Virtual debit cards
- Virtual credit cards
- Virtual procurement cards
- Ghost cards
The virtual card meaning is a randomly generated card number and CVV code that can be used to make remote purchases. The numbers represent an underlying deposit account in the case of virtual debit cards or an underlying credit card account in the case of virtual credit cards.
Virtual cards can be for single-use purposes or for longer periods of time. For example, a business that needs to make a single purchase from an untrusted supplier can generate a virtual card to pay for the item. The business owner can place the exact amount of the purchase on the card and set the number to expire once the transaction is completed.
P-cards are cards that can be used to make payments or purchases over a set period of time. They may be issued to specific employees to use to make needed purchases on an ongoing basis.
Ghost cards are numbers that can be assigned to high-volume suppliers or to individual departments. The suppliers can charge low-value items on the ghost cards instead of invoicing all of them. Employees of the departments can charge items for the business back to the department for better expense tracking across the entire organization.
Virtual business debit card vs. virtual business credit card
A virtual debit card for business is a set of 16 numbers and a CVV code that can be used by a business to securely make purchases online or over the telephone. When goods or services are charged to the number, the transaction is routed back through the deposit account and subtracted from the balance. Thieves can’t use the numbers to gain access to the business’s account, and the cards are not linked to the business.
A virtual credit card for business is also a set of 16 numbers and a CVV code that can be used to make purchases remotely. Instead of being subtracted from the business’s existing funds, the purchases are added to the revolving credit line that is attached to the underlying credit card. This means that purchases that are made with a virtual credit card will add to the business’s debt and may incur interest charges if the balance is carried over to the following month.
How can a virtual card help reduce business fraud risk?
Using virtual cards is a good way for businesses to reduce their internal and external fraud risks. When single-use numbers are used, they will be useless to employees or hackers who steal them and try to use them for personal purchases.
Virtual cards also cannot be used to access information about a business or to get funds from the business’s accounts. Businesses can set restrictions on the virtual cards that they generate to limit where they can be used, the types of purchases that are authorized, when they will work, how long they will work, and how much can be spent with them.
Is a virtual card safer than a traditional business credit card?
Virtual cards are safer than traditional business credit cards in several ways. When credit cards are used to make purchases remotely, hackers can steal the numbers and use them to run up charges on the business’s credit line.
Employees can also make fraudulent charges on their employers’ business credit cards. Businesses are able to set restrictions on their virtual cards that protect them from unauthorized purchases and thefts.
How would a business benefit from using a virtual card?
Businesses can derive several benefits from using virtual cards. In addition to enjoying better security, businesses can also get better control over their expenses with virtual cards. Virtual debit cards help to increase spending transparency, and businesses can see transactions in real time as they are completed.
Virtual cards can also allow businesses to get rid of traditional payment processes such as reimbursements, petty cash, and checks. This can help the companies to save time and money that they would otherwise spend on traditional payments processes.
How virtual cards can help eliminate the reimbursement process
When you use virtual cards at your business, it can help you to get rid of the reimbursement process. Instead of asking your employees to use their own cards to make purchases and to wait to be reimbursed, you can give them virtual cards to use so that they spend your money. Employees will not have to spend time tracking every expense or creating expense reports for reimbursements.
Employers can also benefit in terms of time savings and loss reductions. Their accounting staff will not have to spend time processing reimbursement requests, and they will not have to deal with employees who turn in fraudulent reimbursement requests.
How can I make sure to find the best virtual business card?
To find one of the best virtual business cards, it is important to understand the features that you should look for. Virtual cards for businesses should offer features that allow the businesses to tightly control the spending that can occur.
You should look for a virtual card service that allows you to generate as many virtual numbers as you need instantly. You should be able to restrict the virtual cards in the following ways:
- Restrict where they can be used
- Set spending limits
- Limit when the numbers work
- Determine how long the numbers will work
- Turn the cards off or on by tapping a button on your smartphone
- Restrict unauthorized categories of purchases
In addition to these features, you should also look for a card supplier that is focused on helping businesses to protect their bottom lines through smart payment solutions.
How can I add more money to my virtual card?
If you generate a virtual card that you would like to use over a specific period of time, you can add more money to it when the funds become depleted. Adding money to your virtual card is simple.
You can simply decide how much money that you want to make available on the card by adding it from your associated deposit account. You can turn the card off when it is unneeded. When it is time to make a new purchase, you can add funds and turn it back on.
Are virtual cards one-time use only?
Some virtual cards are for one-time uses only. For example, you can create virtual business cards to make single purchases from an online vendor and set the numbers to expire as soon as the transactions are completed.
Other types of virtual cards such as p-cards and ghost cards can be used for longer periods of time. You can generate p-cards to distribute to specific employees so that they can make purchases over time. You can also generate ghost cards and assign the individual numbers to different departments within your company.
How easy are virtual cards to use?
Virtual cards are very easy to use when you are making purchases over the phone or online. You can simply create a card and then input the randomly generated credit card number and CVV code in an online order form or give the number over the phone.
The cards work just like plastic cards but have better security features. Once you have used the cards, you can set them to immediately expire or turn them off until they are needed in the future.
How to make a virtual business card
You can make a virtual business card in a couple of different ways, including by using a virtual business card app on your smartphone, computer, or tablet. You can get a card app from your card supplier and use it to generate card numbers.
Another way to make virtual cards is by using an application programming interface or API. An API is a set of functions that allow developers to create applications within your proprietary software programs. The developers can use the API and integrate it with your software programs so that you can create custom workflows and generate virtual cards from within your programs.
The security of using a virtual business card
The fact that virtual business cards are randomly generated numbers and not plastic makes them safer. When you use a virtual business card, you can make secure purchases on the internet or over the phone.
If hackers are able to steal your card number, they won’t be able to use the number to gain any information about your company. The number also won’t allow them to withdraw funds from your bank account or to run up purchases.
Controls that virtual business cards give to you
Virtual business cards offer the following types of controls to business owners:
- Restrict the cards by merchant category code
- Set the amount that can be spent on an individual number
- Set the numbers to turn off as soon as a transaction has been completed
- Turn the cards back on with a click of a button when new purchases are needed
- Set the cards to import their transaction data directly into your business accounting software
- Limit the types of purchases that can be made with the cards
These controls are terrific for expense management. You can set controls on the cards that are in line with your expense policy. The features of these cards can help to protect your business from unauthorized purchases and ballooning expenses, and you can see the purchases that are made in real time from your online dashboard.
Key features of virtual business cards
Bento for Business is a business card supplier that offers virtual card services. Businesses are able to create virtual cards with an app on their smartphones or other devices, or they can use the virtual card API to create them. Deposits that are held by Bento are insured up to $250,000 through the Bancorp Bank; member FDIC.
The virtual cards offer extensive expense controls that can help businesses to control when they will work, where they can be used, and how much can be spent. Individual cards can be turned on or off instantly by tapping a button on your mobile device. The company has earned great reviews and has thousands of happy clients. There is a free 60-day trial and a free demo so that businesses can see how the cards work. Call 866.220.8455 today to talk to a customer service representative so that you can learn more about virtual cards and the benefits that they have to offer.