Corporate cards

Best virtual debit card in India for businesses

Dec 29, 2023

With digital payments on the rise, it’s no surprise that businesses are choosing to use virtual debit cards to streamline their online transactions. If you are looking for a tool that provides a quick, easy, and secure way to make online business purchases, the best virtual debit card could make a considerable difference for you.


Most virtual debit card providers allow you to generate an unlimited number of cards, helping with subscription management, quick vendor payouts, ticket bookings, and many more. Find out the best virtual debit card India has to offer and ensure you take advantage of it.

What is a virtual debit card?


If a physical debit card is a card that allows you to make transactions on behalf of the money in your bank account, a virtual debit card is its digital counterpart. It is typically used to make transactions online, allowing you to easily enter your card details when making payments. 


Virtual debit cards are linked to your bank account and do not have a physical presence.

How does a virtual debit card work?


Put simply, you’ll need to be connected to the internet to make payments using virtual debit cards. When you make an online purchase, payment can be made via your virtual debit card if you enter your card details on the payment portal or gateway.


Some of the best virtual debit card providers also have digital wallet functionalities, allowing you to add your cards for in-store purchases.

Best virtual debit card providers in India


Given the benefits that you can get by using the best virtual debit card in India, you’ll want to make sure that your business starts using one.


To start your search, here are some of the best virtual debit card providers. Consider which of them is best suited for you and your business. 


1. Volopay virtual prepaid cards


Overview


Easily create virtual prepaid cards and use them for online transactions with Volopay. With a user-friendly interface aimed to be your all-in-one finance management solution, Volopay streamlines your card expenses.



Set-up process and requirements


Setting up a Volopay account and getting access to your virtual debit cards is easy. As long as you have an operating business entity in India, you’ll be able to apply for Volopay virtual prepaid cards through a fully online application.



Key features of the card


Implement multi-level approval workflows for your virtual card transactions with Volopay. You can generate as many cards as you need and assign them specific purchases, like subscriptions or individual vendors. Each payment made is tracked in real-time, with freeze and block security features available in just a click to avoid card misuse. 



Limitations


As the name suggests, you’re required to top up your virtual prepaid cards before you can use them. However, this is helpful for businesses looking to limit their spending.



Targeted customers


Volopay virtual prepaid cards are useful to businesses of any size or industry. With both single and multi-use cards, any business that makes a lot of online transactions can benefit from managing their expenses using the best virtual debit card available. 



G2 rating


Out of over 80 reviews, Volopay presently has a G2 rating of 4.2 stars


2. HSBC virtual card


Overview


Boasting its virtual debit cards as the solution for card-free payments, businesses that bank with HSBC can get access to its online portal to generate and use unique virtual cards for online payments. 



Set-up process and requirements


Get in touch with an HSBC representative to start the set-up process. If your business is an HSBC customer with the Commercial Card Programme, you can get started by logging into your MiVision platform to create your virtual cards.



Key features of the card


HSBC’s online MiVision platform is key to your virtual cards. Use it to generate unique card numbers for every online transaction you make. With automated tracking, reconciliation, and reporting are made easy through MiVision.



Limitations


Getting HSBC virtual cards may prove to be tougher than with some other of the best virtual debit card providers that cater to both mid-sized and new smaller businesses or startups. 



Targeted customers


Businesses falling under the mid-sized tier or higher are well-suited for HSBC virtual cards. To make the most of the Commercial Card Programme, you’ll have to have a registered company in India. 


3. SBI corporate virtual card


Overview


You won’t need to issue any physical plastic cards to make online transactions with the SBI corporate virtual card. Both single and multi-use cards can be generated to help businesses manage their expenses better.



Set-up process and requirements


Your business must be an SBI customer to set up virtual cards with the bank. If you have a corporate entity, you can get in touch with SBI to get the process started. 



Key features of the card


Get easy expense reviews, spend control features, and free monthly e-statements with SBI cards. You can generate a unique account number for each payment you make. 



Limitations


While SBI offers credit, you’ll have to have a good enough credit score to be able to utilize credit, and there’s an added layer of managing repayments. For small businesses, this may be a hassle. As a bank, SBI may also have stricter requirements.



Targeted customers


SBI corporate virtual cards can be used by any business operating in India under an Indian entity. If your business is already an SBI customer, SBI is one of the best virtual debit card providers for you.


4. Open Money virtual card


Overview


Like many other best virtual debit card providers in India, Open Money, also known as Open, gives you the ability to generate an unlimited number of virtual cards to manage your subscriptions. Both business owners and freelancers can utilize Open to manage their finances. 



Set-up process and requirements


As the platform provides virtual debit cards to businesses and freelancers alike, the set-up process is fairly simple and open to many. Getting in touch with your designated Open account manager will help you iron out any additional requirements and details. 



Key features of the card


Get a dashboard that allows you to perform automated card transaction bookkeeping and gives real-time updates. You can get monthly budgets on all your virtual cards.



Limitations


While Open has generally positive reviews, some businesses have reported in their G2 reviews that they have come across several technical glitches on the platform, which is something you’ll want to keep in mind when considering card expense tracking and management. 



Targeted customers


Unlike many other institutions that offer the best virtual debit card in India, Open allows freelancers. Open can be the right platform for freelancers and small businesses that are still in the inception and growth stages. 


5. Wise virtual debit card


Overview


A Wise virtual debit card gives you an added layer of security by eliminating its physical form. Use it to make purchases online and even in-store by adding the card to your digital wallet.



Set-up process and requirements


You need to have a Wise account to start using the virtual debit cards. Once you’re signed up, you can order your physical card and create subsequent digital virtual cards. It only takes a few clicks.



Key features of the card


Wise boasts an easy-to-use virtual debit card that is not just limited to online transactions. By adding your card to Apple Pay, Google Pay, or other digital wallets, you can make in-store purchases from anywhere in the world.



Limitations


The Wise virtual debit card is unfortunately not available in India. To utilize the card, you’ll need to be a multi-national company operating in one of its 30 available countries such as Singapore or Malaysia.



Targeted customers


While any business operating in the countries where the Wise virtual debit card is available, it’s best suited for companies that do a lot of business internationally.

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Why virtual debit cards are essential for a business



1. Convenient online transaction method


No more confusing or complex payment methods for online transactions. The biggest reason why businesses are favoring virtual debit cards is because they online transactions easy to do.


All you have to do is enter your card details online, allowing you to make payments quickly and safely as long as you’re connected to the internet.


2. Simplified expense management


Keeping track of all your business expenses and budgets can be difficult, especially when all transactions are made through a single card.


Instead of manually categorizing your expenses, generate as many virtual debit cards as you need and dedicate each to a specific expense category, project, or department. Managing expenses is guaranteed to be easier.


3. Enhanced security


Not having a physical version of your card means that there are fewer chances to compromise it. This helps to improve security, requiring the cardholder to enter a card’s details to make a transaction.


With additional features such as OTP authentication, freeze and block features, and merchant category blocking, your cards are guaranteed to be safe. 


4. Secure method for international transactions


International transactions are often a bottleneck for many businesses, as international transfers are costly and take time.


When you have the best virtual debit card to use, however, use online payment gateways to make secure and instantaneous payments. All you’ll have to do is enter the card details for a payment to be made.


Suggested read: International money transfer regulations in India explained


5. Easy vendor control


The good thing about using a virtual debit card for business transactions is that you’re not limited to just one card.


You can generate a virtual card for each vendor to streamline transaction monitoring. This is especially helpful when you have multiple subscriptions to manage and need to make sure that each is paid accordingly. 


See our guide on vendor payment automation to learn more about how Volopay can completely change the way you handle vendor payments.


6. Enhanced control and customization


Chances are you’ll have to work with more than one budget in a particular period. From departmental budgeting to fund allocations for specific projects, you’ll want a way to control how much money is spent from each budget.


Control the way you spend business funds better by customizing each of your virtual debit card’s usage. 


7. Quick and scalable solution


There are several payment methods that you can use for business expenses, but cash and cheques are difficult to scale.


Even relying on physical debit cards will require you to constantly order and wait for new cards.


The best virtual debit card providers, however, will allow you to quickly scale your operations with ease.


8. Real-time tracking of transactions


The best virtual debit card for your business is one that has an intuitive dashboard that helps you track your transactions.


Each purchase made through your cards will be automatically added to your list of transactions in real-time. These updates make it easier for you to see how, when, and where your money is used. 

How to apply for a virtual debit card for your business


Getting started with a virtual debit card for your business is fairly straightforward. However, you’ll want to know what is expected from you during each step of the process, as this will ensure that it goes smoothly.


Here are some things to keep in mind when considering applying for a virtual debit card.  


1. Eligibility check


Before you can start using a virtual debit card for business transactions, you’ll have to ensure that your business is eligible for it. Keep in mind that each of the best virtual debit card providers will have its own specific requirements to meet.


Most providers generally will require that you have a registered business under a company in India.


Before you begin the application process, ensure that if there are any other additional requirements, your company meets them. These could be minimum monthly spending, deposit, bank account balance, and more.


Your virtual debit card will have to be linked to your business bank account. 


2. Verification process and required documents


In the modern day, the best virtual debit card for your business is one that allows you to get started as soon as possible.


Luckily, plenty of providers offer a fully online application form. All you have to do is fill it out according to your business information and attach supporting documents.


To make sure that the verification process goes smoothly, it’s important that you have all the required documents.


Check for their accuracy before submitting them. These documents may include but are not limited to a business license, the director’s proof of identity, proof of business operations, and any existing bank statements. 


3. Setting up and customizing the card for specific use


With a card provider that gives you the ability to generate an unlimited number of cards, you want to take advantage of that.


To start with, generate your first card and set it up accordingly. You can configure its specific spending limit and customize what you want the card to be used for.


The great thing about virtual debit cards is that you can create a new one with ease whenever you have a new use case.


If you have a new vendor or subscription that you want to manage using virtual cards for payments, all you have to do is repeat the setup process.

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Tips for secure virtual debit card usage



1. Regularly monitor transactions


Virtual debit cards often come with a dashboard to track and manage your transactions. Make sure you don’t neglect this feature. Instill a habit in your finance and department managers to regularly monitor transactions made on your virtual debit card. This helps identify any out-of-policy spending and minimizes overspend.



2. Report lost or stolen cards immediately


As a virtual debit card for business purchases doesn’t have a physical form, you won’t have to worry about physically misplacing or losing a card.


However, it’s important to note that should a card be compromised, it gets reported, frozen, and blocked immediately. This is to ensure that no one steals your card details.


3. Regularly review security policies


Implementing virtual debit cards for your business involves some trial and error. While it’s important to set a card policy to ensure that card usage is monitored and secure, you want to regularly review your policies to see if they still hold up. If there are any security gaps, they must be addressed immediately.


4. Implement multi-level approval processes


Card transactions don’t require an authorizer before the transactions happen the way bank transfers do, but having a proper approval process post-transaction is key to managing your expenses.


When employees submit expense reports, route them through a multi-level approval workflow that guarantees that all expenses are in compliance with your policies.


5. Train employees


Host knowledge training sessions for your employees regarding your virtual debit cards. Not only is this useful in helping your employees familiarize themselves with your virtual cards as transaction tools, but it also allows you to address any questions, queries, or issues. It guarantees that all your employees are on the same page. 


6. Make transactions only on secure websites/applications


Be careful where you use your cards online. While it’s easy to freeze and block compromised virtual debit cards, the first step to keeping your card details safe is to ensure that you only make transactions on websites or applications you know.


It’s important to research their security before you enter your card details.


7. Set spending limits


The best virtual debit card to use for your business expenses is one that allows you to set customizable spending limits.


Each card you generate should be in line with its respective budget and usage.


Before your employees start using the card for purchases, make sure that you configure the card’s particular limit.


8. Enable OTP authentication


To prevent card misuse, ensure that you enable OTP authentication for online purchases. Considering that virtual debit cards are mainly used online, you can ensure that your online transactions are made safely.


Every time a card’s details are entered to make a purchase, the cardholder will have to confirm the transaction via OTP authentication.

Volopay virtual cards - #1 choice for businesses


As an all-in-one financial control center for your business, Volopay has the best virtual debit card to manage your day-to-day expenses.


Offering a number of robust security features such as real-time tracking, merchant category blocking, and freeze and block functions built into the platform, you can easily and quickly make online payments without security risks.


Generate an unlimited number of virtual debit cards that you can easily top up and set spend limits for. With both single and multi-use cards, managing your spending is much simpler.


All it takes are a few clicks to create a new card for a new purpose—whether that’s a new project, vendor, or subscription.

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