What is a Virtual Debit Card: Everything You Need to Know

Did you know that 2019 saw over 3,800 data breaches that compromised billions of records? This is an alarming number demonstrating that we’re in an era of data breaches and online security threats.

This doesn’t prevent people from wanting to shop online. So you might be looking for a way to spend money over the internet without compromising your personal information.

One solution people have found is a virtual credit card. This type of card gives you a unique number that’s tied to your credit card account and may help protect you from fraud.

Read our guide below to learn more about virtual cards and help determine if it’s right for you!


It may seem roundabout to invest in a virtual card when you already have a physical card. When you take a look at statistics, the culture shift becomes immediately apparent. 

Credit card fraud is one of the most common forms of theft around. Just one incident can set back an individual thousands of dollars and expose their sensitive information to prying eyes. Sadly, credit card fraud can happen in a variety of ways you don’t even expect. 

These methods include (but aren’t limited to

  • Physically stealing the card
  • Taking a photo of the card while you’re at a check-out
  • Computer viruses
  • Computer hacking
  • Stolen mail

Notice anything? Yes, many of these theft attempts happen with a physical card present. When online shopping is the new standard, it makes sense to think outside of the box with your purchasing decisions. 


Before we launch into the benefits of virtual payment cards, let’s also take a look at ecommerce. The pandemic has boosted an already growing phenomenon of completing everything online.

Nearly two billion people purchased goods or services online back in 2019, setting a record that would soon shatter just one year later. The need for social distancing would boost ecommerce by nearly 28%, completely changing the way we think about our lives. As you can imagine, virtual payment cards filled in a much-needed gap. 

Businesses want a way to reach customers no matter where they are. Likewise, customers love the convenience and diversity of online marketplaces. Virtual payment cards add a level of safety to the online buying process, protecting your information from unwanted eyes.



A virtual card can be a virtual credit or debit card and is not a physical or plastic card. These cards provide you with a set of sixteen numbers that are like a credit card number and include a CVV number. They’re generated randomly and can be used to make cashless exchanges from business to business.

Virtual credit and debit cards are similar. A virtual credit card can be used online or by phone, to buy goods and services.


The card functions by routing the charges on the virtual card to the original credit card number, but cannot be traced back to the original card. Like a physical credit card, charges may include interest.

A virtual debit card differs from a virtual credit card because the randomly generated number is linked to a debit account. Again, the purchases can only be made remotely and not in-person. The charges from a virtual debit card are taken from an account balance that it’s tied to, but hackers won’t be able to trace it back to the original account.

Have you ever felt uneasy typing in your credit card number, address, and full name into a website’s form? The virtual payment card can finally add some ease to the buying process, especially if you do it often. 

But you might be wondering who is able to get a virtual card to make purchases.


To use these cards, you can download the software to your computer that will be provided by the card issuer. This will allow you to generate the random numbers needed for the card. You can also assign spending limits.

Depending on the lender, virtual debit or credit cards might be used only once, and they may expire if unused. If a purchase is made and there’s still a balance on the virtual card, it’ll be credited back to the original account.

This system prevents virtual cards from being cloned. In other cases, you can decide the number of transactions you plan on using the virtual card before it expires.


Individual consumers have been using virtual cards in the past, but it’s a relatively new decision for businesses. Virtual credit cards are becoming popular among businesses. These cards help to prevent fraud when making online purchases.

Since the numbers on a virtual card are not the actual credit card numbers, they’re not attractive to hackers and thieves. It also stops employees from using the card to make unauthorized online purchases.

Using these virtual cards for your business can also help you cut the need for checks, invoices and buy orders. This can save you time and money.

But how do you actually get a virtual card?


Most major credit card companies and other sources now offer virtual cards. Once you’ve signed up to be issued a virtual card, you can use the string of digits you’ve been given to make purchases online. 

The main benefit of these cards is that if they do get compromised, you can delete or lock them very quickly and switch to using your main credit card number. This offers a lot of cardholders some peace of mind while shopping online.


A major question for any credit card holder is whether they are able to handle carrying a balance and paying it back. The average credit card interest rate is 19.02%, with an APR at 18% so the interest rate may affect your decision. 

Create a budget and ensure you’ll be able to afford the monthly payments to meet your balance requirements. With a virtual card, businesses can set limits on the amount an employee is able to spend and can create alerts for payments. A virtual business card may help reduce the chance of overspending.

Deciding between a virtual credit card and a virtual debit card also depends on your business needs. Some prefer a virtual credit card for the rewards they can get from the card company. But since a virtual debit card is pulling from an account, it prevents the chance of spending more than you can afford.

While this may seem like a feature that would benefit larger businesses the most, small businesses have a lot to gain from virtual payment cards. When nearly 30% of all small businesses will experience a data breach, it stands to reason a virtual payment card would be helpful. 

Just one switch will protect your business from hacking and set budget limitations, a win-win scenario for any conscientious business model.


There’s no such thing as perfect technology. While virtual payment cards are reliable and safe, they still have a few limitations to be aware of. 

Obtaining a refund with a virtual payment card is tricky. This is caused by some stores still relying on the classic method of swiping a card to process a refund. Due to the rise in virtual payment cards, some stores instead opt for other solutions such as:

  • Discounts
  • Gift cards
  • In sporadic cases, not accepting virtual payment at all

It’s also important to remember that you have to set the expiration date for your virtual payment card. Take into account your spending habits so you don’t accidentally miss out on essential purchases. While this might not be a problem for personal spending, this can be incredibly interruptive for business spending.

We’ll break down the most important questions you should ask below, so you can make the right decision when obtaining your virtual payment card.


It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options on display. A virtual payment card is incredibly convenient but still takes commitment on your part: should you get one?

The buying habits of today will look incredibly different from the buying habits of tomorrow. It’s time to ask yourself a few questions so you can get the most out of your investment: 

  • Am I worried about losing sensitive information online?
  • Have I been the victim of credit card fraud or hacking in the past?
  • Will I be able to pay off my purchases in a timely manner?
  • How often do I use ecommerce for goods and services?
  • Am I using a virtual payment card for myself or for my business?

If you answer yes to at least three of these, you’re a sho0-in for a virtual payment card. These will provide you with the ability to safeguard your information without sacrificing your access to convenient online services and goods. With the additional benefit of controlling your spending, there’s no reason not to give it a try.



Is there anything you should do to prepare before obtaining a virtual payment card? Absolutely. 

Your first order of business is to take a look at any credit card debt you have. When today’s Americans carry at least $6,000 in credit card debt, it’s crucial to manage the money you already have. This will shave down your stress and push you to focus on what matters most.

If you have little to no debt, obtaining a virtual payment card will eliminate stress in a different way by protecting your sensitive personal information. If you’re buying it for personal reasons, consider only purchasing single items at a time. You can also set a financial limit so you’re not testing the limits of your card.

If you’re using your virtual payment card for business purposes, set your budget in accordance with essentials such as:

  • Advertising expenses
  • Equipment
  • Subscriptions

This will get you in the habit of using your card without going overboard. Save your ambitious purchases for the future once you’re comfortable with your virtual payment card. Thanks to its inherent convenience and safety, that will happen sooner than you expect!


BlockCard provides you with a physical debit card that’s powered by Ternio, and you’re able to have control over your money and account. You can use the BlockCard website and app to securely make purchases online.

The BlockCard website functions similarly to a native application and can be launched on a computer or your mobile device.

Also, the BlockCard app, which can be downloaded onto your phone, allows users to send and track cryptocurrency spending. It enables you to send instant payments to anyone with just an email address.

A major reason why people choose BlockCard is that there are no fees for transactions, exchanges or deposits. So you pay one flat monthly rate, and for a lot of users, it’s waived simply by using BlockCard



Virtual cards are easy to use since they’re charged in the same way as a credit or debit card. A virtual card can also serve as a buffer between your real account or credit card information

So if you’re concerned about data breaches and your privacy, a virtual credit card might be right for you and your business.

Register for a BlockCard today to get started using a virtual card and seeing the benefits of this secure system of online payment!

To use these cards, you can download the software to your computer that will be provided by the card issuer. This will allow you to generate the random numbers needed for the card. You can also assign spending limits.

Virtual debit or credit cards might be used only once, depending on the lender, and they may expire if they aren’t used. If a purchase is made and there’s still a balance on the virtual card, it’ll be credited back to the original account.

This system prevents virtual cards from being cloned. In other cases, you can decide the number of transactions you plan on using the virtual card before it expires.