5 best virtual credit cards for businesses in 2024

Dec 07, 2023

In the ever-evolving business landscape, the utility of virtual credit cards has become increasingly apparent. These digital payment tools have witnessed a surge in popularity and are being harnessed by businesses across the globe to streamline their financial operations, enhance security, and gain greater control over their expenses. There are many virtual credit card providers in India for businesses in 2024. To choose the best virtual credit card in India for your organization, you must know its features and benefits. 

What is a virtual credit card?


A virtual credit card, often referred to as a VCC, is a digital alternative to the traditional plastic credit card. It's a unique set of numbers that can be used for online and remote transactions.


Unlike a physical card, a virtual credit card exists only in the digital realm, providing a secure means of making payments without the need for a physical piece of plastic.

How does a virtual credit card work?


Virtual credit cards function in a simple yet ingenious manner. They are typically issued by financial institutions or payment providers. When a business or individual acquires a virtual credit card, they are provided with a set of card details, which include a card number, expiration date, and a CVV code. 


These details can be used to make online purchases or payments, just like a physical credit card. However, there are some key differences. Virtual credit cards are often temporary, meaning they can be used for a single transaction or a limited period. They also come with spending limits and can be easily frozen or canceled, adding an extra layer of security for businesses.

Best virtual credit card providers in India


When it comes to virtual credit cards in India, there is no shortage of providers who are giving this service to businesses. And while each one of them is providing the same product, they come at different costs and with a few differing features and capabilities.


Some of the best virtual credit card providers in India are listed below for you to choose from: 


1. Volopay virtual card


Overview


Volopay's virtual card is gaining attention for its simplicity and effectiveness in managing business expenses. It provides businesses with the flexibility they need for financial transactions.



Set-up process and requirements


Setting up a Volopay virtual card is a straightforward process. Businesses typically need to register with Volopay, and once approved, they can generate virtual cards as needed.



Key features of the card


Expense categorization and tracking


Employers can easily set expense categories that expenses can be mapped to. All the transactions happening through the virtual cards are also reported in real-time making tracking of business expenses really easy. 


Instant card generation


New virtual cards can be generated within minutes. 


Custom spending limits


You can set each card with a custom spending limit so that there is no overspending. 


Integration with accounting software


Volopay’s software can sync with any accounting software letting your business export all virtual card transactions into your accounting ledger. 


Multiple currency support


You can use Volopay’s virtual cards to make payments domestically and internationally in multiple select currencies. 



Limitations


Volopay primarily caters to businesses, and its virtual cards are not suitable for personal use.



Targeted customers


Small to medium-sized businesses looking for a streamlined expense management solution.



G2 rating


Volopay is rated 4.2/5 stars from a total of 83 reviews on G2’s platform.




2. HSBC virtual card


Overview


HSBC's virtual card solutions are known for their security and global accessibility. They offer businesses the convenience of digital payments with the backing of a trusted banking institution.



Set-up process and requirements


Businesses need to have an HSBC business account to access their virtual card services. The setup process is often done through the bank's online portal.



Key features of the card


Strong security measures


Being a global banking institution, HSBC has strict and robust security measures in place to safeguard your money and financial information. 


Global acceptance


The HSBC virtual corporate cards can be used for transactions online throughout the world. 


Detailed transaction reporting


Employees can submit transaction data including digital receipts and reasons for making the purchase. 


Customizable spending limits


Setting spending limits on your HSBC virtual cards helps you stay within the planned budget. 


Integration with expense management systems


Most of the time you can easily sync your HSBC virtual card with your expense management software to keep track of all your transactions. 



Limitations


Access to HSBC's virtual cards is restricted to businesses with an HSBC account.



Targeted customers


Businesses seeking the reliability and global reach of a renowned bank for their virtual card needs.




3. SBI corporate virtual card


Overview


State Bank of India (SBI) offers a corporate virtual card solution, aimed at simplifying business payments and expense management.



Set-up process and requirements


To acquire SBI's corporate virtual card, businesses typically need to be SBI customers. The setup process can vary based on the specific offering.



Key features of the card


Secure transactions


SBI’s virtual cards are integrated with industry-grade encryption to ensure that your transactions are carried out safely from start to finish. 


Expense tracking and reporting


The expenses that you make using your SBI virtual card can be easily tracked through their online portal. 


Multi-tiered approval system


Card issuance and budget approvals for each card can be managed through the online platform provided by SBI. 


Integration with ERP systems


Being able to integrate your virtual card system with your ERP system helps businesses deal with inventory management. 


Flexible expense categories


You can set custom expense categories apart from the predefined categories available on the platform. 



Limitations


Access to SBI's corporate virtual card may be limited to businesses with an existing relationship with the bank.



Targeted customers


Indian businesses, especially those already banking with SBI, looking for a reliable virtual card solution.




4. Open Money


Overview


Open Money offers virtual cards designed for startups and small businesses in India. Their solutions focus on simplicity and ease of use.



Set-up process and requirements


Businesses can sign up for Open Money's services online and set up virtual cards quickly.



Key features of the card


Fast card generation


Once your account with Open Money is set up, you can quickly generate and activate your virtual card within minutes. 


Expense tracking


All the payments that you make via Open Money’s virtual cards are automatically recorded on their platform and can be easily viewed at any time. 


Real-time notifications


You can set rules to get notified for all transactions and other important information such as budget requests and approvals. 


Integration with accounting tools


You can easily sync and export all your expense data into your accounting software


API for customization


APIs are available for developers within a company to integrate with their own systems to better operate the cards throughout the organization. 



Limitations


Open Money's services are primarily tailored for small businesses.



Targeted customers


Startups and small businesses in India seeking a user-friendly virtual card solution.




5. Enkash virtual card


Overview


Enkash specializes in virtual cards that simplify business payments and provide control over expenses.



Set-up process and requirements


The setup process typically involves registering with Enkash and verifying the business's credentials.



Key features of the card


Detailed transaction history


With Enkash’s virtual cards, users can see a detailed log of all the transactions that have been made with specifications like the date, time, and vendor.


Customizable spend limits


Each Enkash virtual card can be set with a custom spending limit. 


Integration with accounting software


Enkash’s system can be integrated with accounting software to let your business ensure uniformity of data across different platforms. 


Vendor payment control


Virtual cards can be set with custom expiry dates to ensure that any vendor isn’t paid beyond the agreed contract terms. 


Real-time expense monitoring


All the purchases being made using an Enkash virtual card are automatically recorded in a centralized dashboard in real-time. 



Limitations


Enkash's services are primarily geared towards businesses.



Targeted customers


Indian businesses seeking a virtual card solution with comprehensive expense control.

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What are the documents required to apply for a virtual credit card?


Obtaining a virtual credit card in India involves a straightforward process, but it does require some essential documentation.


Let's explore the documents you'll typically need to apply for a virtual credit card


1. Identity proof of the business owner or stakeholders and signature


To ensure the legitimacy of the application, the identity proof of the business owner or key stakeholders is crucial. This proof can include Aadhaar cards, passports, or other government-issued identification.


2. Address proof of the business owner


An address proof is essential to establish the residential address of the business owner. This can be a utility bill, a rent agreement, or any other document that confirms the address.


3. GST certificate & GST number of the business


Goods and Services Tax (GST) documentation is often required to verify the business's legal status. You'll need to provide your GST certificate and GST number.


4. CIN Number


For companies, the Company Identification Number (CIN) is necessary. This unique identifier is used to confirm the company's registration.


5. Bank account statements for the last 6 months


Bank account statements are required to assess the financial health of the business and determine creditworthiness.


Typically, the last six months' statements are needed to gauge the financial stability and transaction history of the business.

How to apply for a virtual credit card in India?


Applying for a virtual credit card in India involves a systematic process to ensure a smooth transition to this digital financial tool.


Here are the steps to guide you through the application process:


1. Assess your business needs


Start by evaluating your business's specific requirements for virtual credit cards.


Determine how these cards will be used and what features are essential for your financial operations. This should be the first step in your process to choose a virtual credit card provider.


Only after you are clear with what your business needs will you be able to choose virtual cards appropriately. 


2. Establish a clear card usage policy


Define a comprehensive policy outlining the rules and guidelines for card usage. This ensures that employees understand their responsibilities and the expected usage of virtual credit cards.


Without a usage policy that has clear guidelines, virtual cards may be misused and lead to unnecessary expenses. 


Suggested read: A guide on corporate credit card policy


3. Choose the right provider


Select a virtual credit card provider that aligns with your business needs. Consider factors like fees, security features, and customer support.


Find the right balance of what you are looking for and prioritize what is most important for you and your employees in virtual credit cards. 


4. Evaluate credit limits


Determine the credit limits you need for your virtual cards, keeping in mind the financial requirements of your business. Every provider may not provide the credit limit that you need or may have extra fees in the form of interest rates to give you the credit amount you require.


Make sure that you go through a thorough evaluation of all the aspects related to the credit limit that is being provided to you. 


5. Submit the required documents and application


As mentioned in the previous section, provide the necessary documentation and complete the application process as per the chosen provider's requirements.


Different providers may have slightly different documentation requirements but most of them will require your main legal business documentation and financial statements. 


6. Wait for approval


After submitting your application, patiently await the provider's approval, which may take some time for verification and processing. Approval of your application and registration can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on the virtual credit card provider. 


7. Generate and activate the card


Once approved, a company account will be created by the provider on their platform where you can create and access your virtual cards.


You will be provided access to this online portal through which you will need to activate your virtual cards as per the provider's instructions.


8. Card issuance


Once you have access to the online portal through your company’s account, you will be able to issue your virtual cards and see all their details including the card number, expiration date, and CVV, which are essential for making online transactions. 


9. Set spending limits


Customize spending limits for each virtual card, depending on the needs of specific employees or departments. You can do this through the online portal where you manage all your virtual cards.


You can set specific employees such as managers and financial controllers as the administrators on the platform to do this. 


10. Train employees


Ensure that your employees are well-informed about using virtual credit cards and adhering to the established usage policy.


You can conduct separate onboarding sessions for employees to help them learn everything about using these cards and solve any doubts or queries they may have. 


11. Integrate with an expense management system


If your business uses an expense management system, integrate your virtual cards for streamlined expense tracking and reporting.


In most cases, the virtual credit card providers themselves have an expense management system built into the online portal through which you access your virtual cards. 


12. Monitor and review usage


Continuously monitor and review the usage of virtual cards to maintain control over expenses and identify any irregularities promptly.


Analyze data over time to better cater the use of your virtual cards to the expenses that need to be made in the business. 

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What are the key factors when choosing a corporate card provider?



1. Card acceptance


Ensure that the corporate card provider's cards are widely accepted, both nationally and internationally. Widespread acceptance is essential for smooth business transactions.


Considering you will be making online payments using virtual credit cards, there are quite literally no barriers to making purchases from foreign entities that may operate in a different currency than your card’s base currency. This makes it important to have international spending capabilities. 


2. Spend controls


Look for a provider that offers robust spend control features. This includes the ability to set individual spending limits, restrict categories of spending, and block specific merchants, providing greater control over employee expenditures.


This will ensure that employees won’t be able to use the cards for expenses that are not compliant with the company policy.


3. Fees and interest rates


Evaluate the fees associated with the corporate card, including annual fees, transaction fees, and foreign transaction fees. Additionally, understand the interest rates for outstanding balances, as these can vary significantly.


Try to choose a provider with the least amount of fees and interest rates while also ensuring that the cards have all the features you need. 


4. Rewards and benefits


Many corporate card providers offer rewards and benefits such as cashback, travel rewards, or discounts on business-related expenses.


Consider the rewards program that aligns best with your business's needs.


But make sure that this isn’t your priority to choosing a virtual card provider as there are much more important factors. 


5. Expense management software integration


Seamless integration with expense management software is crucial for efficient tracking and reporting of expenses.


Choose a corporate card provider that supports the software you use or plans to implement integrations in the future.


Most providers will have their own expense management and tracking software by default. 


6. Reporting and analytics features


Robust reporting and analytics tools are essential for gaining insights into your business expenses. The ability to generate detailed reports and analyze spending patterns can be invaluable.


Make sure you get at least a basic level of analytics functions to track and measure your company expenses. 


7. Compliance


Ensure that the corporate card provider complies with all relevant financial regulations and industry standards. Compliance is vital, especially for businesses operating in highly regulated sectors. 


8. Reviews and reputation


Research the provider's reputation by reading reviews and seeking recommendations from other businesses. A provider with a strong track record of reliability and excellent customer service is often a wise choice.


You can check third-party review sites such as G2 to get unbiased opinions from other businesses that have used the product. 

Volopay virtual cards - #1 choice for businesses in India


Volopay lets you issue virtual cards for your business in India and manage all your online expenses in an organized manner. You can issue virtual cards and use each one of them to separately manage your subscriptions, issue cards for specific teams & projects, or issue cards for individual employees; you get complete flexibility and freedom to use them as per your business hierarchy and needs. 


Each virtual Volopay corporate card can be set with a custom spending limit so that there is no chance of overspending and going over the budget that was decided. With an easy application and registration process, Volopay is one of the best virtual card providers in India. 

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FAQs on virtual credit cards