What are virtual cards? Should you use them?

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What are virtual cards? Should you use them?
Virtual credit card, also known as Electronic Card or e-Card, is a prepaid card, created for e-commerce transactions. With number of online frauds increasing, it is advisable to go for them.  According to ones convenience one can opt for either virtual debit or credit card.

The Card can be used to shop online at any merchant website that accepts Visa Cards, without any difference from a regular plastic Card.

All relevant details as on the card number, the ‘VALID FROM' date, the expiry date and the CVV number are visible online. The virtual credit card enables you to transact online with a credit limit of your choice.

Card can be created for any amount. For SBI virtual card a minimum from Rs. 100 to Rs. 50,000 (depending on the bank). Card can be used at any online merchant site that accepts Visa Cards.

Click to know how to avoid credit card frauds.

How is Virtual Card safer?

  • The customer details (your bank account No., mobile No. , email address,  etc) are not shared with Merchant / Vendor. 
  • The Card is a single usage card, i.e once used successfully it cannot be reused. 
  • The available window for Card usage is limited to a maximum period of 48 hrs. 
  • Card is created using secure Internet Banking website and Card limit is decided at the time of creation. 
  • Both Card creation and usage during online transaction are authorised only after successful validation of OTP, making it more secure.


In case of SBI card, once card is cancelled or expired, the lien marked shall be lifted and the unspent / unutilised amount will automatically be available to the customer for use.


Once you complete the transaction or if the card is cancelled. In case card is not used for 48 hours after creation, whichever is earlier.


Read more about: debit, credit card, virtual card
Story first published: Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 12:15 [IST]
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