top of page

Virtual cards: it's not as difficult as you think

Updated: Nov 24, 2022



Why do you want to use a virtual card?


There are multiple scenarios for utilising virtual cards to simplify your purchase processes for products and services that demand immediate online payments. The two types of cards - single- and multi-use - can appear limited in their uses at first glance, the former for webshop purchases and the latter for paying for subscriptions. This article will present a myriad of opportunities for online purchases for the two types of virtual cards that can usually be requested according to your organisation's account configuration. After all, using virtual cards to deal with different ad-hoc expense situations is meant to give you freedom in planning expenses, provide a simple overview of payment statuses and transactions, eliminate card misuses and risks from online purchasing, and simplify the payment process so that you can focus on the key tasks of your everyday work.



Mobile virtual card

And last but not least, using virtual cards helps you sidestep situations where employees use their private credit cards to make corporate purchases that lead to unexpected expense claims at the end of the month.



A new era of payments



Virtual cards are quite new in the purchasing space, and you may have many questions about their attributes and rules of use. To address those potential questions, we think it is necessary to create a solid point of reference and put minds at ease. We're not talking about virtual cards in terms of how they are set up in relation to your organisation's payment policies since each has its own.








We are specifically addressing the attributes of a virtual card and how you as a Requester perceive them when considering your expense opportunities through online payments. In this article, we are specifically comparing virtual cards to classical credit/debit cards in online purchasing scenarios. So let's demystify virtual cards and open up opportunities for their use.



What are virtual cards exactly?



To put it simply, virtual cards are just regular credit cards without a physical representation. The general idea behind a payment card is that it references an account of/in its issuing bank. A classical plastic payment card is, therefore, a medium for conveying payments using the technologies available to communicate a transaction to a bank using the capabilities of its physical format (a magnet strip, chip, or NFC/contactless). However, thanks to advanced and widespread payment technologies, plastic payment cards have become simple text and numeric information carriers in online payment scenarios.