Virtual Debit Card: How Does It Work?

March 17, 2021

Ever since the introduction of digital payment gateways, customers have been increasingly purchasing their products online rather than in-person. Online transactions are increasing ever so rapidly that their value in 2023 is expected to reach $1,339,005. Although businesses are still somewhat conservative in their use of checks, they’re being forced to change their ways thanks to the changed customer behavior.

How Does Virtual Debit Card Works

Out of all the digital transaction trends, virtual cards are recently taking the lead. Nowadays, both customers and businesses are moving toward the use of virtual cards to make their payments and receive transactions, but what exactly are virtual cards? Does a virtual debit work differently than normal debit cards do? That’s what we’ll explain in this article, so read on!

What Are Virtual Cards?

It’s 2021 and everyone must be familiar with digital transactions by now. Just like every kind of digital transaction, virtual cards make it possible for the user to make payments through the internet using the card number. However, virtual cards are exactly as they sound: they’re not physical, plastic cards. Rather, it’s a set of numbers, 16 in exact, that work similar to how a credit or debit card would – alongside a CVV code and all. The main difference between a virtual card and a physical card is that the 16 numbers and the CVV code are generated randomly using a software program. These cards allow the user to make online transactions without needing cash.


There are various types of virtual cards. They include virtual numbers, ghost cards, virtual procurement cards, virtual credit cards, and virtual debit cards.

How Virtual Debit Cards Work

Just like other virtual cards, a virtual debit card is a set of 16 numbers and a CVV code that is generated randomly to be used to purchase services and goods over the internet. You can use the numbers to make purchases over the phone or online, but not in person. The generated numbers are then linked to your existing debit account, and the purchases you make are subtracted from your original balance. Once you create a virtual debit account like this in your original account, you can access the instantly generated numbers and use them right away. You’ll also be able to set specified spending limits and card controls to manage and monitor your expenditure.


Unlike physical cards, the numbers generated cannot be traced back to your debit account. You can’t access the money on the virtual debit card using the numbers either. The numbers will expire as soon as you use them or their expiration date comes, so they can neither be used by anyone else nor be stolen. Moreover, these numbers can only be used once, which further increases the security of the virtual cards. Once you use the card, the remaining money will be placed back in your account after the expiration date.


Furthermore, you can specify the amount of money and the merchants in your purchases. For instance, you can generate a virtual debit card and specify that you’ll use it to purchase a specific item for $X from a specific vendor. If someone else steals the number and tries to use it for a different purpose, the transaction will be declined.

How to Use a Virtual Debit Card

Customers and businesses alike can generate virtual debit cards. You can check with your card issuer or bank if they offer virtual card services; many large banks and private entities provide this service. Once you connect the card with your debit account, you’ll be able to generate a virtual debit card and allocate a certain budget for use. Be sure to transfer the exact amount you want to use and to complete the transaction as soon as you generate the number. Once you make the transaction, be sure to save your receipts. Since they can’t be traced back to the account, it’s often difficult to get refunds for the purchases you make, but providing a saved receipt should make it easier.


There is a myriad of advantages to using virtual debit cards. The most important benefit of these cards is that they’re much more secure than physical debit cards since the risk of theft is practically non-existent. This factor also significantly reduces the risk of fraud. They can’t be traced to your account, so you won’t risk the privacy of your contact or identification information. On the other hand, the only big disadvantage of virtual debit cards is that they can’t be used in person; you won’t be able to use them to purchase from a brick-and-mortar store, only through the phone or over the internet.

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