Credit card fraud is increasing in magnitude proportional to the widespread
use and availability of credit cards. To counteract this menace credit card
companies have devised a new way. Popularly called the virtual credit card,
this is an arrangement where the actual details of credit card holder are hidden
and a virtual credit card number is issued for online shopping, which expire
within a short period of time, usually a month or so. These virtual credit card
numbers are mostly single-use, meaning that they expire after they are used
The process of getting a virtual credit card number is simple, it requires
your credit card details and can be issued for a particular amount. Once considered,
a relatively techie concept the virtual credit cards are fast becoming popular.
There are various pros and cons to virtual credit cards. Here are few of them.
The virtual credit card number is a very safe option and is issued for a single
The virtual credit cards are site specific and payment specific, so they are
not transferable. This makes them of no use to hackers since they can't use
these numbers anywhere except for the desired purpose.
The identity and actual credit card number is completely protected and threat
of identity theft are absolutely minimal.
The purchase made by any virtual credit card number is reflected in the customers
credit card bill like any other purchase.
The virtual credit card number builds more confidence in online shoppers, because
their fears of identity theft and privacy considerations are done away with.
Virtual credit cards are a great way to beat the hackers and online thieves
at their own game.
Virtual credit card concept is gaining popularity fast but it still is not
that widely accepted, and users are accepting it at their own pace.
Virtual credit card numbers become useless where the personal details are absolutely
essential with the purchase as in the case of airline tickets, movie tickets,
hotel reservations, car rental etc.
Similarly, if you want to pay recurring expenses such as monthly subscriptions
you'll need a new virtual credit card number every time because the old one
will expire. Thus, the companies who want to bill you on a recurring basis will
prefer regular credit card numbers.
If you have multiple credit cards from different providers, getting virtual
credit card numbers and tracking them down for expiry dates and usability will
add to your existing burden.
In short virtual credit card numbers are not without their drawbacks, but the
safety, privacy and convenience they offer brings a great peace of mind.