What is a virtual prepaid card API?
A virtual prepaid card API is a specialized type of application programming interface that allows businesses to generate virtual prepaid cards. The API can be integrated with your proprietary applications and can perform other functions in addition to generating prepaid cards.
Using credit or debit cards to make purchases online can expose businesses to fraud. At the same time, the Federal Reserve reports that small business spending using cards increased by 266 percent from 2006 to 2016. Using virtual prepaid cards online can keep businesses from losing money to credit card fraud.
Virtual prepaid cards that have been generated can be used to make payments or purchases over the telephone or online. They generally cannot be used to make in-person purchases unless they are used in conjunction with mobile wallets that a retailer accepts.
How does a virtual prepaid card API work?
A virtual prepaid card API consists of a computer code framework that developers can customize to fit your needs. It can be integrated with the applications that you already have so that you can enjoy functionality within your applications in addition to generating cards.
With your API, you can create virtual cards instantly, and the numbers can be activated and ready to use within minutes. You can decide how much money to place on the cards and limit where they can be used and how long they will work.
What is a virtual prepaid card?
A virtual prepaid card is not plastic. Instead, it is a series of randomly generated numbers that occur in a string of 16 digits like a credit card number. The number is generated together with a CVV code. The number is meaningless to hackers because it can’t be used to access your accounts or your identifying information.
As a prepaid card, you decide how much money to make available on it. Typically, businesses will choose to fund a virtual prepaid card that they have generated with their virtual prepaid card APIs in the amount of an invoice that has arrived. For example, if you ordered a piece of equipment that costs $2,000, you could generate a virtual card and fund it with $2,000. The card could be restricted to only work to pay the supplier, and it would no longer work once the transaction is completed.
Who uses virtual prepaid card APIs?
Virtual prepaid card APIs are primarily used by businesses that need a secure way of making payments and that do not want to add to their business’s debt. Prepaid cards are not credit cards, so they will not result in interest charges or high annual fees.
Businesses may generate virtual cards on an as-needed basis so that they can make secure payments online or via telephone without exposing themselves to potential fraud. They can choose to make the numbers work only once or to turn them off and on again when they want to make a new payment to the same vendor or supplier.
Virtual prepaid card APIs vs. ghost card APIs vs. Procurement card APIs
In some cases, a virtual prepaid card API will differ from APIs for ghost cards and procurement cards. In others, companies will offer an all-in-one application programming interface that can be used to create all different types of virtual cards.
Virtual prepaid cards generally are created to work for single purchases before they expire. Procurement cards may be created and given to employees to make certain types of purchases over a specific time period or on an ongoing basis. Ghost cards are best for larger companies. These are numbers that can be assigned to different departments so that you can track spending by the department in your organization.
Virtual prepaid card APIs can help grow your business
Generating and using virtual prepaid cards can help you to grow your business. When you are able to pay invoices immediately instead of taking a longer period of time to process them, you can build your reputation with your suppliers and vendors. Using prepaid cards can also help you to keep tight controls on your expenses so that they won’t balloon.
A key benefit of using virtual prepaid cards is that they allow you to get rid of check-writing, petty cash, and reimbursements. All of these types of systems take long periods of time, have high transaction costs, and are frequently targeted for fraud. Eliminating them can help you to save money that you can devote to growing your business.
Automate your card issuing workflow & generate virtual prepaid cards in your application
Using an application programming interface within your application allows you to automate your card issuing workflow. Instead of having to log into a dashboard and re-enter information over and over for every card, you can simply generate a number of cards instantly.
You can set individual limits on each card and restrict them by merchant code. The cards that you generate will be ready to be used within a few minutes.
Where can I get a virtual prepaid card API, and what should I look for?
The best way for you to find a virtual prepaid card API is to conduct research online. You should look for articles in highly respected publications about different card issuers that provide them. You will want to choose a company that has established itself in the space.
It is also important to choose a company that offers enhanced features for helping you to control your expenses and to restrict spending. Finally, easy integration into your existing applications is another important feature for you to look for.
Improved controls and expense management with Bento
Bento for Business offers robust expense management and spending controls that you can use from within its application programming interface. You are able to restrict where the cards can be used, when they will work, and how much money can be spent on them.
For example, if you need to order new desks for your office, you can generate a virtual number and give it to your office manager. The card can be restricted to buying desks that you have preselected at a specific merchant. After ordering the desks, your office manager can pay for them with the number that you have provided to her.
Bento for Business is a leading debit card API solution for businesses
Bento for Business is respected in the business payments industry for its smart solutions to expense management and spending control issues that businesses face. The company has been profiled in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and others.
Bento offers a free 60 day trial for it’s business Visa debit cards to see if they are right for you. Businesses can order packages of cards according to their needs, and the plans are affordable. A package of 10 cards costs $29 per month. Since they are not credit cards, your credit will not be checked, and the purchases that you make will not incur interest charges. To learn more, call 866.220.8455.