Data breaches are unfortunately commonplace, but virtual credit card services can give shopper an added layer of protection. With the COVID-19 pandemic causing more people to shop online than ever before, it’s worth investigating this extra security measure. Here’s everything you need to know about virtual credit cards.
Virtual credit cards allow consumers to create uniquely generated card numbers, expiration dates, and security codes for online and over-the-phone purchases. These unique numbers can be generated for each individual purchase or used over a longer period of time. Other virtual credit card users set up a unique number for each vendor they use.
Depending on the issuer, virtual credit cards can be used through a browser extension, online account, a program you download to your PC, or an app. Purchases made with virtual credit cards don’t have any unusual effects on your credit score; they simply alter they numbers you use to pay.
Virtual credit cards give you extra protection when a company you’ve shopped with uncovers a data breach. Cyber thieves may get a hold of your purchase information, but it won’t do them much good since your real credit card information is not attached to any purchases you make with your virtual card. It’s also easy to deactivate a current number. This means, if a company you’ve shopped with experiences a data breach, you won’t need to cancel your card, wait for a new one, and then update all your automated payments with a new credit card number.
If you are interested in using a virtual credit card, be sure to consider the following: