The Benefits of Virtual Payment Cards & Virtual Debit Cards

Alice Wong3 minutes
The Benefits of Virtual Payment Cards & Virtual Debit Cards
In this article
  • What are virtual payment cards?
  • Five big virtual card benefits
  • Try Airwallex virtual cards for your business

Virtual payment cards are gaining more traction in Singapore, and they have some rather positive implications for your business’ bottomline. So, how do virtual payments and debit cards work? Let's take a look at the core benefits they offer and the impact they can have on your business.

What are virtual payment cards?

As the name suggests, virtual payment cards are debit or credit cards that exist entirely online. Virtual credit cards come with a randomly-generated 16-digit number, card verification number and expiry date. And yes, they act in the same way traditional credit cards do. The main virtual payment card providers are Mastercard, Visa, and American Express, and these virtual credit cards are accepted anywhere credit cards are usually accepted.

But how these virtual cards differ is in their operation and ease of use.

Instead of relying on your bank to handle things, more control is handed over to you, the user. From choosing the currency you need, to setting a spending limit for the virtual card and defining the merchant types where the card can be used.

Virtual payment cards are streamlining the way payments are made for both suppliers and vendors. Here are some of the most compelling benefits for your business.

Five big virtual card benefits

Staff empowerment

Virtual cards can be issued to multiple team members responsible for making payments for your business on a day-to-day basis. Instead of hounding your manager or accounts department to hand over the company’s sole physical card (or going to the hassle of getting a corporate card yourself), staff can be issued with unique virtual payment cards.

As a manager, you can set the spending limits on each virtual card. This has the dual benefit of giving you better oversight of your business payments, and also letting your teams know exactly how much they have to spend. 

By eliminating payment bottlenecks, your business can move at a much faster pace by allowing the purchase of new software and equipment without delays. Purchase requests will no longer sit ‘pending’ for weeks while your staff wait for the greenlight to make the purchase.

Greater accountability

Another benefit of virtual debit cards is the improved oversight and accountability you receive over your business’ money. As you’re able to assign virtual payment cards to specific suppliers or vendors, you always know exactly where your money is going. Purchases made against this card are then automatically logged into your card management system. Everything is neatly processed, labelled, and accounted for, meaning no more mystery payments.

There's also a huge opportunity to reduce the number of hours spent chasing expense receipts by your accounts department. Each payment is allocated to the specific staff member who made the purchase, making it easy to trace back and reconcile every transaction. Your accounts team can go back to what they do best, forecasting and providing financial advice on the future of your business.

Added security

Perhaps the biggest virtual debit card benefit is the improved level of security you receive. Virtual payment cards are ideal for making safe and secure online payments. 

As virtual payment cards aren’t physical objects, cloning them is practically impossible. There’s no physical item to be stolen either. They can even be set as single-use cards, expiring right after they’re used, meaning there will never be any issue with future fraudulent payments from your card.

However, while the online nature of these payments has boosted their security, it’s important to treat virtual card payments with the same level of rigour as a physical card payment. Remember, both virtual and physical cards still deal with one very real thing: money.

Easy to create and use

Virtual cards were typically only available to large enterprises but with the recent advances in fintech, these cards are now available to most businesses as well. Companies like fintech unicorn Airwallex allow businesses to create virtual cards in just seconds. Simply set up an account (done completely online) and you can start creating virtual cards for your business. 

Virtual cards can be created instantly from within your Airwallex foreign currency account. No need to wait for a physical card to arrive in the mail — you can start using our cards right away on Apple Pay or Google Pay.

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Ease of reconciliation

One of the main pain points for finance teams when it comes to corporate cards, is the time it takes to find the owner of the transaction to aid with reconciliation or receipt collection. The typical finance person may need to chase multiple people just to understand what the transaction was for.

With virtual payment cards, you can assign the card to a specific person, a specific department or even a specific expense code. This will allow businesses to easily reconcile expenses to the right account and also easily identify the right people to ask for receipts for given transactions, saving considerable time. 

Try Airwallex virtual cards for your business

Airwallex is an international fintech company with 19 international offices in 11 territories, including Singapore. We give everyday businesses access to one of the best virtual payments and debit cards (and more). Best of all, Airwallex’s multi-currency cards also have zero international transaction fees, so you can use these for all types of payments. There are no monthly fees and an account can be set up online in a matter of minutes. Get in touch with us to discuss how Airwallex virtual cards can help your business.

Related article: How to pay China suppliers from Singapore?

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Alice Wong
Growth Marketing Lead

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