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Virtual Payment Cards – the Smarter way to Bank

We are certain that whenever the word “Card” comes into any conversation, your mind would start juggling through many thoughts about so many different cards and their names. It is indeed very confusing to remember and differentiate the numerous payment cards available at present and make the perfect choice of choosing the best of the lot!

What Are the Different Types of Payment Cards Available?

There is an array of Payment cards in India ranging from Credit Cards, Debit Cards, ATM cards, Cash cards, Charge cards etc. But do you know what does each of them stand for and what are their features?

While ATM cards are only meant for Cash withdrawal from an ATM, the Debit card substitutes itself as an ATM card as well as for online or offline purchase. The Chargecard is something wherein you charge before the expense is done, like a prepaid card. There are many Smart cards also available with exclusive benefits like free Fuel redemption or extra benefits on travel if you are under their frequent traveller segment.

The Evolution from Physical Cards to Virtual Digital Cards

Just as technology has advanced over the years, so has the financial transactions and methodology. The global level of digitisation has taken away hard cash as well as plastic money from today’s consumer and replaced it with Virtual payment cards. Cash was taken over by the physical cards, and now virtual payment options have overpowered it all. The digital wallet phenomenon has ruled the E-commerce space and many companies are capitalising on this to upscale their businesses effectively.

Did you know: E-wallet or digital wallet payments are the fastest growing payment method used across the globe

What is a Virtual Payment Card?

As the name suggests, Virtual Cards are not physical cards; they are cards issued virtually from an issuer to a customer. It a subset of your credit card wherein you can determine a prescribed limit for a transaction and can also set an expiration date. It is a computer-generated card number with a predefined credit limit, which you can use for a particular transaction. Despite not being your actual credit card, to the merchant, it looks like a credit card number. The need for a Virtual Credit card had seen a rise when a lot of online transactions started taking place, and many illegal fraud activities were encountered. VCC became an ideal way to safeguard your transactions and enjoy safe, hassle-free shopping experience, especially when you are shopping through a less known merchant whom you have not dealt with before.

Did you know: The Virtual Debit Card or Credit card resembles the actual credit card completely having similar 16 digit card number, expiry date, and a CVV number as well. When the number is entered on a merchant’s website, it identifies itself as a standard Credit card number only.

So How Does the Virtual Payment Card Benefit the Customers?

The Virtual Payment card has various benefits for customers who make online payments:

  • Security: Since the virtual credit card is mostly a single transaction card with an assigned pre-defined limit, it becomes practically impossible to be used for any fraudulent activities. If someone ever tries to misuse it as well, the combination of the card number and its limit restricts the transaction on the first go.
  • Data confidentiality: If you are worried about the website saving your card details and using it for any future payments or debits, this is the ideal way of making online payments. The card number does not get saved when you make a payment, as each transaction requires a newly generated number.
  • Cost of the debit card: Cost of getting a virtual debit card is much lower than issuing an actual plastic debit card. In fact, most banks offer this as a free service as it does not require any logistics or dispatch related work; it is an online service, which is provided to the customer over the internet itself.
  • No fear of losing the card: Very often we fear to carry so many plastic cards in our wallet due to the fear of losing it and it being misused, but that’s not the case with Virtual Cards as they don’t exist physically, hence the chances of losing it or it being abused is completely ruled out.
  • Ease of application: Getting a Virtual card number is also a relatively easy task; you don’t need to visit any branch or fill any KYC documents, apply online and get it done.

Did you know: Bank of America and Citibank were the two banks to start off the Virtual Credit Cards trend globally

Kotak Mahindra Bank’s New Initiative Towards Using Virtual cards for Transactions:

Up until now, usage of Virtual credit cards was a known and rapidly increasing phenomenon but associating virtual cards to one’s bank account was not something any bank had ventured into. Kotak Mahindra Bank, with its launch of the new 811 Savings account has ventured into the space of eradicating physical debit cards for a savings account and replacing it with an all-new Virtual Debit card.

Kotak 811 plan can prove to be a real game changer and change the perception of banking in India altogether. It offers its customers a zero-balance account with complete app-based banking experience. This move is a true virtue of following the digitalisation drive in India, which provides 100% online and paperless banking to its customers. Right from account opening to doing all financial transactions, it can all be done on the 811 apps. It is a mobile app, which offers more than 100 features for its customers.

With the Kotak’s virtual debit card, you can enjoy all the financial transactions using the 811-mobile app; be it shopping, bill payments, cash transfers or anything else. You no longer need to carry your ATM or Debit card in your wallet, use your mobile app, scan for the code and get the transaction done. It is undoubtedly a revolution in today’s banking experience, and many banks will follow suit for sure.

Did you know: Kotak derived at the number 811 for this revolutionary savings account from the date when demonetization was launched in India 8th Nov 2017.


With the country moving towards digital transformation, this is the time to start introducing concepts like Virtual payment cards, which enhance secure and safe financial transactions and prepare a robust environment for all banking transactions. Kotak has seen a boom in its customer base due to this move and attributing many more.


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