Corporate cards

What is a virtual debit card and how to get one for your business?

Apr 05, 2024

Virtual debit cards have become a particularly popular payment and financial control tool in recent years. As an increasing number of businesses are moving towards more modern, digital payment methods the virtual debit card has emerged as a more than sensible choice.

Knowing what is virtual debit card and how to get virtual debit card has, therefore, become important for any entrepreneur looking to move their business forward.

What is a virtual debit card?

A virtual debit card is an electronic payment solution that allows transactions to occur without requiring a physical card. It operates similarly to a traditional debit card, except it exists solely in a digital format, eliminating the need for a physical plastic card.

How to get virtual debit card is also not very hard, these cards can be obtained from different financial institutions or payment service providers and are designed to provide convenience and security for online shopping.

They are commonly utilized for e-commerce transactions and offer benefits such as adjustable spending limits and improved safeguards against fraudulent activities. Therefore, to answer the question of what is virtual debit card, it is essentially a digital version of a physical card, with certain additional features.

What are the types of virtual debit cards?

Single-use virtual debit cards

Single-use virtual debit cards are temporary card numbers generated for a specific transaction. They are typically linked to the primary debit card or account but have a unique card number, expiration date, and CVV code.

Once the transaction is completed, the card number becomes invalid, rendering it useless for any future transactions. Single-use virtual debit cards provide an added layer of security by minimizing the risk of card information theft or unauthorized use.

Multi-use virtual debit cards

On the other hand, multi-use virtual debit cards are reusable virtual cards that can be used for multiple transactions. They are often associated with a business account or individual, allowing them to make online purchases without exposing their primary card details.

Multi-use virtual debit cards can be customized with spending limits and expiration dates to enhance control and security. They offer convenience by eliminating the need to enter card information repeatedly and provide an additional level of protection against fraud or unauthorized charges.

How do virtual debit cards work?

How virtual debit cards work is also important to understand what is virtual debit card. These cards operate through a digital platform, enabling secure online transactions without the need for a physical card.

When a virtual debit card is issued, it is linked to an existing debit card or bank account. It is assigned a unique card number, expiration date, and CVV code, similar to a physical card. To make a purchase, the virtual debit card details are entered into an online payment gateway just like a regular debit card.

The transaction is then authorized by the card issuer, verifying the available funds or account balance. The purchase amount is deducted from the associated bank account or debit card balance. Virtual debit cards offer enhanced security as they are not vulnerable to card skimming or theft of physical cards.

They also provide flexibility by allowing users to create and manage multiple virtual cards, each with unique details and spending limits. Additionally, virtual debit cards often offer advanced security features like transaction notifications, card freezing, and the ability to deactivate or delete cards if needed.

Related read: virtual payment card uses cases for businesses

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Benefits of using virtual debit card for business payments

1. Improves AP process

Virtual debit cards enhance the accounts payable (AP) process by automating payment workflows. They can be easily integrated with expense management software, allowing for seamless expense tracking, reconciliation, and reporting. This simplifies financial operations and enhances efficiency.

2. Highly secured

These cards also provide significantly enhanced security measures compared to traditional cards. They are not susceptible to physical theft or skimming, reducing the risk of unauthorized transactions.

Furthermore, virtual cards can be assigned unique card numbers, expiration dates, and CVV codes for each transaction, minimizing the potential for fraud.

3. Better visibility

Using virtual cards can provide businesses with much better visibility into their spending patterns.

Through online platforms or mobile apps, managers can access transaction data, monitor spending trends, and identify areas where cost optimization is needed.

This visibility helps businesses make informed decisions to improve financial efficiency.

4. Easy tracking of expenses

The Virtual debit cards can be helpful in managing cash flow and simplifying expense tracking by providing detailed transaction records. These records can be easily accessed online or integrated with accounting software, allowing for accurate and real-time monitoring of business expenses. This simplifies the reconciliation process and ensures transparent financial reporting.

5. Improves payment flexibility

Virtual cards offer greater payment flexibility, especially for remote or international transactions.

They can be used for online purchases, subscriptions, or vendor payments, eliminating the need for physical checks or wire transfers. This flexibility allows businesses to adapt to the evolving digital landscape and conduct transactions effortlessly.

6. Improved accountability

Virtual debit cards enhance accountability by tracking and attributing expenses to specific employees or departments. This fosters a culture of responsibility and reduces the likelihood of unauthorized or non-compliant expenditures.

Managers can easily monitor individual spending habits and ensure adherence to company policies. Virtual debit cards are very helpful in simplifying expense reporting as well.

Major cons of virtual debit cards

1. Cannot withdraw cash

One limitation of virtual debit cards is the inability to withdraw cash from ATMs. As virtual cards exist solely in digital form, they do not have a physical presence and cannot be used for cash withdrawals. This can be inconvenient for businesses that rely on cash transactions or need access to physical currency.

2. Relies on technology

Virtual cards are dependent on technology, including stable internet connectivity and secure digital platforms.

Any disruption in these systems, such as internet outages or technical glitches, can temporarily hinder the ability to make transactions. This reliance on technology introduces a potential risk of service interruptions or delays.

3. Acceptance issues

Virtual debit cards may face acceptance issues with certain merchants or platforms.

While most online retailers and service providers accept virtual cards, there may be instances where a virtual card is not recognized or supported. This can limit the options for making payments and potentially require alternative payment methods.

How to get a virtual debit card in Australia?

Getting a virtual debit card Australia has to offer is fairly straightforward, you can get one by following these steps:


Research financial institutions

The first step in how to get virtual debit card is research. Begin by researching banks and payment service providers that offer virtual debit cards in Australia. Look for reputable institutions that align with your business requirements.


Choose a card provider

While choosing the virtual card provider, compare the features, fees, and security measures offered by different providers. Consider factors such as transaction limits, international usage, and integration options with your existing financial systems.


Apply online

Once you've selected a provider, the next step in how to get virtual debit card is application. visit their website and navigate to the section related to virtual debit cards.

Most providers allow you to apply online by filling out an application form.


Submit documents

During the application process, you may be required to submit certain documents such as identification proof, business registration details, and address verification.

Ensure that you have these documents ready to expedite the application process.


Verification and approval

The provider will review your application and documents for verification purposes. This part of the process of how to get virtual debit card may take a few business days.

If everything is in order, your application will be approved, and you'll receive your virtual debit card details.


Activate your card

Once you receive your virtual debit card details, you can usually log in to the provider's online banking portal or mobile app to activate and manage your card.

Here, you can customize spending limits, monitor transactions, and access other features offered by the provider.

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Factors to consider when choosing virtual debit cards for your business

Easy application process

Once you’re done navigating what is virtual debit card you must then choose a virtual card provider. Look for providers that offer a straightforward and streamlined application process. The application should be user-friendly, requiring minimal documentation and time to complete.

A hassle-free application process saves time and ensures a smooth onboarding experience.

Flexibility to create multiple cards

Choose a virtual debit card solution that allows you to create multiple cards as needed. This flexibility enables you to allocate cards to different departments, teams, or employees, streamlining expense management and enhancing control over spending.

Real-time data and updates

Opt for a virtual debit card provider that offers real-time data and updates. This ensures you have access to up-to-date transaction information, balances, and spending details, empowering you to make informed financial decisions in real-time.

Mobile app accessibility

Check if the virtual debit card provider offers a mobile app for convenient access and management of the cards. A mobile app allows you to monitor transactions, set spending limits, and receive notifications on the go, enhancing flexibility and control over your business expenses.

Customize spend controls

Ensure that the virtual debit card solution offers customizable spending controls. Look for features that allow you to set spending limits, merchant restrictions, and transaction types. This enables you to align the card usage with your business's specific needs and budgetary requirements.

Fraud protection

Security is paramount for every virtual debit card Australia has to offer. Evaluate the fraud protection measures provided by the card issuer, such as advanced encryption, two-factor authentication, and real-time monitoring for suspicious activities. Strong fraud protection safeguards your business from potential financial losses and ensures the safety of your transactions.

Categorize transactions

Consider virtual debit card solutions that offer the ability to categorize transactions. This feature allows you to assign expenses to different categories or projects, simplifying expense tracking, budgeting, and reporting. Categorization helps with accurate financial analysis and ensures efficient expense management.

Integration compatibility

Check if the virtual debit card solution integrates seamlessly with your existing financial systems or expense management software. Integration compatibility enables automated reconciliation, reduces manual entry errors, and streamlines the overall financial management process.

Why should you choose Volpay cards for your business?

If you’re planning to get a virtual card then knowing what is virtual debit card and how to get virtual debit card is only half the task. You must also choose the ideal virtual debit card provider for your business in Australia. Volopay corporate cards could be strong favorites for your choice, here’s why:

1. Create unlimited virtual cards

Volopay corporate cards offer the ability to create unlimited virtual cards, enabling businesses to allocate cards to different departments, teams, or individual employees. This flexibility allows for efficient expense management and better control over spending.

2. Real-time tracking and analytics

Volopay provides real-time tracking and analytics, giving businesses up-to-date insights into their spending patterns. This feature helps businesses make data-driven decisions, track budgets, and identify areas for cost optimization.

3. Customer support

Volopay offers dedicated customer support to assist businesses with any queries or issues. Their responsive customer support team ensures a smooth experience and quick resolution of concerns.

4. Highly secured

Security is a top priority for Volopay. Their corporate cards come with advanced security features such as EMV chips, PIN authentication, and two-factor authentication for online transactions. These measures protect against fraud and unauthorized use.

5. No hidden charges

Volopay is transparent about its fees and charges. They have no hidden fees, ensuring that businesses have a clear understanding of the costs associated with their corporate cards.

6. All-in-one dashboard

Volopay provides an intuitive and user-friendly dashboard that consolidates all corporate card transactions and expenses in one place. This centralized dashboard simplifies expense management, reconciliation, and reporting processes.

7. Better reconciliation

With Volopay, businesses can easily reconcile expenses by integrating the corporate card transactions directly into their accounting software. This automation eliminates manual data entry and reduces the chances of errors or discrepancies.

8. Set custom controls and approvals

Volopay allows businesses to set custom controls and approvals for card usage. This feature enables businesses to define spending limits, transaction categories, and approval workflows, ensuring compliance with their financial policies.

9. Easy and fast transactions

Volopay virtual debit cards facilitate seamless and quick transactions. Whether it's online payments or in-person purchases, businesses can use their cards with ease, making payments without any hassle.

10. Make payments globally

Volopay cards offer global payment capabilities, allowing businesses to make transactions internationally. This feature is particularly beneficial for companies with global operations or those involved in cross-border business activities.

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