Corporate cards

Virtual debit card - How to get started and use them?

Apr 05, 2024

Why is the whole business world shifting towards virtual debit cards? Traditional business cards are not effective for complicated management processes, providing easy and controlled access to company funds, or stopping any security breaches. Building a solution to combat these loopholes, virtual debit cards were introduced.

A virtual debit card is just an online version of the usual physical debit cards we use. Virtual debit cards are highly popular for being easy to use, providing better funds access to employees, securing the company’s money from fraud, and helping with all the expense management processes.

What is a virtual debit card?

A virtual debit card is an intangible online version of a general physical debit card. Like physical debit cards, virtual debit cards also have the cardholder's name, 16-digital card number, CVV number, and expiry date.

Physical cards can be used to make offline purchases at places where chip and card swipes are accepted. In contrast, a virtual debit card is provided in a mobile application by the bank or other card providers. These cards can be used to make online payments and purchases, and all other features of the virtual debit card can be accessed through the mobile app.

For example, transaction limit setting, card upgrades, expense reports, etc. But ATM cash withdrawals and physical store purchases cannot be made through these cards. 

Differences between traditional debit cards and virtual debit cards

1. Issuing process

To get a physical card, businesses must go through a long process of applying for it and paying to get it printed and delivered.

In comparison, virtual cards can be easily created on a mobile application or software. Some providers offer unlimited virtual debit card creation for free; some others give a few free over the purchase of a physical card.

2. Type of the card

Physical debit cards, as the name suggested, are plastic cards that are tangible and can be used to make ATM withdrawals, in-store purchases, or any offline purchases.

On the other hand, virtual debit cards exist in a virtual space and are intangible. Assume they are just a randomly generated 16-digit number, CVV, and expiry that can be used to make online purchases.

3. Security

Physical cards provide the bare minimum levels of security. You can see the transactions made on a mobile app (if provided by the institution) or else wait until the end of the month for the bank statement.

Plus, physical debit cards have a high probability of being stolen and misplaced. In contrast, virtual debit cards built with bank-grade security, real-time transaction tracking, and recording cannot be stolen, and any unauthorized transaction will be immediately flagged and stopped.

4. Fee structure

Different debit card providers charge differently. So, while some physical debit cards can be expensive and charge a greater amount on international transactions, virtual debit cards aren’t the same.

You will always see a stark difference in the procurement prices of virtual debit cards comparatively, and for international transactions, virtual debit cards charge less.

Benefits of using virtual debit card

Improved accountability

Virtual debit cards can easily be integrated with your company’s ERP and accounting system. This means that all the transactions that will be made through the virtual debit cards will not be tracked but also properly recorded and entered into your accounting system.

If you get a virtual debit card from an expense management software like, Volopay, platforms like these provide you with both virtual debit cards and accounting software. No external integration is required.

Streamlined AP process

No more extra hustle to make payments to vendors. Forget cash and cheques. With virtual debit cards, you can easily make payments to your vendors. Just enter the vendor name, some bank details, the amount, and the virtual debit card details, and click OK. It’s that simple.

Along with this, you will not have to run to find payment receipts for accounting reconciliation. All transactions can be viewed in a centric database, and of course, accounting can be integrated. 

Streamlined expense management

A streamlined expense management flow can be achieved by tracking all the expense activities of the business.

Hence, if you give your employees virtual debit cards to make all purchases, every activity will be tracked, recorded, and stored in an organized manner.

No information will be lost, and none of the finance team members will have to run around together with information and documents for reconciliation. Data accuracy and automation! 

Better flexibility

Virtual debit cards serve the purpose of offering easier access to company funds and also make payments hassle-free.

In comparison to physical debit cards, virtual debit cards are much more flexible. These can be integrated, paired, and connected with any online software, payment merchandise, or management platform.

Plus, these cards can be assigned to any number of employees.

Better spend control

One of the best features virtual debit cards are installed with is spend control features. You can assign an unlimited number of virtual cards to the employees of your company and still have control over each one of them.

Virtual debit cards can either be burner cards or recurring payment ones, meaning you can choose which to assign to whom. Any transaction over the spending limit will have to be approved. You can also set an approval workflow and decide on the approvers.

Enhanced security

The best feature that has attracted all businesses to use virtual debit cards is enhanced security. Virtual debit cards are installed with tools like real-time tracking to help you keep a tab on all the transactions being made that very second.

Along with this, bank-grade security and two-factor authentication take security measures to the next level.

With a burner card, you can be blindly assured because once the payment is made, the card denials are no longer valid. 

Hassle-free payments

The virtual debit card is the most eminent tool to make payments. If the vendor has an online payments portal, just enter the card details and click on pay.

If you are using expense management software that also provides virtual debit cards, you have to enter the vendor, the amount, and vendor bank details.

Just like that, payment can be made that easily. No need to physically carry cash payments or stand in a long bank queue for cheque transfers. 

Better employee accountability

Once the virtual debit cards are given to employees, you can see all their activities and transactions.

Plus, with expense management software connected with the virtual debit card, you can set employees' expense policy restrictions. Meaning all expenses made will be strictly according to the employee expense policy rules.

You will know who made which expense at what time and to whom. Increased employee accountability and control. 

Reimbursement relief

Now that your employees will make all expenses through the company-provided virtual debit card, reimbursement will not be required.

As the cards will be connected directly to the company’s source of funds, employees will not have to make any out-of-pocket expenses.

In turn, the whole tedious process of asking employees to fill out reimbursement claims, rectifying errors, getting the right details, and reimbursing the amount in salaries all eliminated.

Get greater control over your expenses

Manage your business expenses effortlessly with virtual debit cards
Get your card now

How do virtual debit cards work?

Virtual debit cards only exist in the virtual space. Depending upon your virtual debit card provider, you will have to place a requirement by either filling out a form or some banks offer virtual cards along with physical cards.

Whatever the scheme, you will get a unique 16-digit virtual card number, CVV number, specific expiration date, etc. To activate the card, you have to connect it to a funding source.

If the card is offered from the bank, then it is automatically connected to your bank account. However, if you choose to get virtual debit cards from other financial service providers, you have to create an account on their platform, and the card will be sourced to it. Once activated, you can use it to make transactions, set spend limits, connect to accounting software, etc.

Also, read out article on virtual credit card to know how a virtual credit card works and how to get one for your business in Singapore. 

How to get a virtual debit card in Singapore?

You can get virtual debit cards from either banks or other financial service institutions. All have different procedures set to get a card, but there are a few basic requirements for all. 

Your company must have at least 15 authorized cardholders (employees). 

This may vary depending on the provider, but an annual expenses amount should be higher than $250,000. Also, the annual review should be around $4M. 

Virtual debit cards offered by banks have limited features and many use restrictions. Hence, it is advised to get these cards from expense management platforms like Volopay. These service providers offer a wide array of management features already installed in the card. Meaning these virtual debit cards come with more flexibility and controls.

How to get virtual debit card?

Why is Volopay the #1 choice for businesses?

1. Card security

Volopay virtual debit cards are installed with bank-grade security. You also get two-factor authentication, real-time transaction tracking, instant block or card deactivation, and spending limits.

All these tools ensure that no fraud or unauthorized breaches can go through the system. You will always have an update on all card activity. This means how much money is being transacted when, for what purposes, and by whom — you will know everything. 

2. No personal guarantees

If you choose to get a Volopay business credit line, you have made the right choice. The Volopay virtual cards are the easiest way to use credit money.

Borrowing from the Volopay credit line is simple. You need minimal documentation like identity proofs, business registration details, revenue proofs, etc. the best part is — no personal guarantee is required. The business owner or stakeholders will not have to give any personal assets as collateral for the credit amount.

3. Superior support

We understand that quick and responsive customer support is required to ensure that all business processes are completed on time.

Volopay guarantees superior customer support. If you have issues with virtual card activation, account activation, international money transfers, spend limit setting, expense report access, transferring funds, assigning vendors, making vendor payments, etc.; our customer support professionals are always available to guide you through it. 

4. Unlimited virtual cards

Another amazing feature Volopay offers is unlimited virtual cards. Volopay virtual cards are installed with various tools to help you manage all business expenses smoothly.

The best part is you get to create and use unlimited virtual cards. You can assign cards to different employees, departments, projects, vendors, etc.

Vendor-specific virtual cards help you organize all your vendor payments so that your payment will always be on time, and invoice management will be a piece of cake.

5. No hidden charges

When you get a card of any type, there are various fees or payments attached to it. Any kind of charges, transaction fees, annual fees, procurement charges, etc., are all declared upfront.

There are no hidden charges. You will always know what you are paying for and what features are accessible.

6. Spend analytics and real-time tracking

Amongst the useful attributes offered by Volopay are spend analytics and real-time tracking. The Volopay dashboard analytics gives you an overview of your spending pattern, graphs, and charts of the expenses made in the month.

Along with this, the feature that supports maintaining the efficiency of these spending analytics is real-time tracking. All transactions made through the Volopay cards can be tracked in real-time. So you will know when the payment is initiated, its current status, and when the payment transfer will be successful.

7. Centralized dashboard

All Volopay components and aspects can be easily accessed through the centralized dashboard. Cards, payments, analytics, setting, user management, and more are accessible from the left side of the dashboard.

Other intricate features are just a click away. This means all the hassle of manually browsing through papers and documents is eliminated with the automation and centralized dashboard feature of Volopay.

8. Easier reconciliation

Reconciliation is the process of ensuring that all transitions made through the company’s accounts are all rightly entered and recorded in the accounting books of the business.

With Volopay cards and business accounts, every expense is recorded and tracked in real-time.

Plus, with the automatic accounting integration, the expense information is directly entered into the accounting sheets. With auto-classification and expense mapping, transactions are rightly entered under the correct fields.

9. Instant virtual card issuing

Along with the feature of unlimited virtual cards, instant activation is another useful one.

For example, you need to make a payment to a new subscription vendor and want to handle their account with a particular virtual card.

You can instantly go to the cards section, create a virtual card, transfers funds to it and make a successful payment through it. It's that fast, and it's that easy. 

10. Set custom controls

You are given access to as many virtual cards as you want, but you must wonder how to control spending and stop overspending. This can be effortlessly done with the spend control offered by Volopay.

You can set a ceiling amount on each card. Transactions under the total limit are automatically approved; however, any expense over the limit will have to be approved.

Along with this, you can set multiple approvers and also designate levels of the approvers. Customization options are available for changing card owners, updating card limits, setting exchange currency, etc.

11. Easily map every receipt to the payment made

The Volopay platform tracks and records everything. This means that once an invoice is received in the system, right from the first step of invoice processing to the last step — payments and reconciliation, everything is recorded.

You will not have to hunt through heaps of receipts and bills to find the one you want; you can easily check the expenses board or accounting sheet to track down a specific transaction.

Take charge of your business expenses

Experience seamless financial control with virtual debit cards from Volopay
Get Volopay card

Volopay business virtual debit cards for secure online payment

The very basic feature of a virtual card is that it is safer than other physical cards or cash payment methods. However, Volopay virtual debit cards are secure to the next level. These cards a virtual, so of course, being stolen is not an option. However, that’s not it.

Block and deactivate virtual debit card

If you suspect any unauthorized activity or any breaches in your virtual debit cards, the volopay cards board shows you a list of all your cards, and you can block or deactivate any card at any time. No request submission, no long process or wait for the action to be taken. The control is in your hands.

Real-time transaction access

We cannot stress this enough. With real-time transaction tracking, you will know everything about a payment from start to end. Date of initiation, transit process, date of payment compilation, etc. No detail can escape the system; hence there is no chance of any fraud when you have the minute-to-minute update of every transfer.

Reduce internal and external fraud

All Volopay cards have the two-factor authentication security feature. Hence, it is not just one passcode protection; there is an added security factor to maintain tight safety.

Moreover, virtual cards can be burner cards as well. This means that once the payment is made, the virtual card will expire. The card number, CVV, and expiry date will no longer be valid.

So, even if someone gets hold of the card details, it won’t work.

Data backup and storage

One of the most important features that every business wants is data backup and storage. Volopay virtual cards are connected to the platform, and all expense data is secured in cloud storage.

Now you don’t need to worry about lost receipts, expense information, or reports. Everything is backed up and saved by Volopay.

Security with 3DS protocol

The latest and most effective security tool is the 3DS protocol. 3DS stands for three domains. These are the merchant/acquirer domain, the issuer domain, and the interoperability domain. This is an added layer of security especially made for card payment transactions for card-not-present scenarios (virtual cards — no physical existence.) This protocol allows the exchange of information between the three domains to check the authenticity of the payment.

On the payments page, the customer enters their payment card information, and the bank or merchant sends an authentication PIN or password (one-time password). Once the customer enters that PIN, the acquiring bank checks it and accepts or denies the transaction

Simplify your business transactions

Experience seamless transactions, and greater expense control with Volopay
Get Volopay now

FAQs on virtual cards

Do virtual cards help make recurring payments?

Yes, you can set up your virtual payment card for hassle-free recurring payments on the Volopay dashboard by specifying parameters such as frequency, date, amount, vendor, and so on.

How to get Volopay’s virtual debit cards in Singapore?

Volopay cards can be created in an instant. All it takes is 4 easy-to-follow steps and a few seconds of your time.

Create a virtual debit card in 4 simple steps

1. Go to the "Cards'' tab on your Volopay Dashboard;

2. Navigate to virtual cards and click on the add icon on the top right corner

3. Fill out details (e.g. Card name, amount, budget, owner, expiration date, etc.), verify them and click continue

4. Receive your virtual prepaid debit card in an instant!

Following the four simple steps outlined above, you can quickly establish a virtual Visa debit card on the Volopay dashboard. First, how can I acquire a Volopay dashboard? To do so, you must first schedule a demo! We provide a variety of solutions that can be customised to meet your individual requirements.

How can I add funds to my Volopay virtual cards?

You must first top up your BillPay balance on the Volopay Dashboard before you can add funds to your virtual cards. You can then proceed to allocate funds to individual virtual cards as needed using this amount.

What is the maximum number of times a virtual card can be used?

As long as the virtual debit card has funds, it can be used as many times as needed. You can set limits on this usage as well to control how many times it can be used.