Virtual cards

A Visa prepaid virtual card is designed specifically for use on the internet.

When you apply for a Visa prepaid virtual card, you don’t actually receive a physical plastic card. Instead the issuer will generally provide you with details of a card account, such as the card number, the expiry date and the security code, that you can then use to make purchases online.

For example, some issuers may provide an electronic image of a card on a webpage or in an email which is for immediate use. Others may give you a reference card (possibly made of cardboard or flexible plastic). This means that a Visa prepaid virtual card cannot be used in ATMs or in shops that aren’t online.

A virtual card is ideal for people who want to keep their online spending separate from their credit or debit card. It’s also a good option for people who want to buy online, but might not qualify for a conventional credit or debit card.

A Visa prepaid virtual card offers:

  • Control – your card can only be used online or over the telephone, and you can keep your online spending entirely separate from your everyday spending
  • Security – you have the same level of security and protection that you would expect from any other Visa card
  • Flexibility – because it’s a Visa card, it can be used at any websites that accept Visa payments.

Visa Europe Annual Report 2013

Enabling new commerce and delivering growth

View the Annual