Virtual cards can be an effective way to keep funds secure and enhance your financial management, but what benefits do they offer, and do you really need them? In this article, we examine what virtual cards are, what advantages they bring and show how unlimited virtual cards can enhance your operations.

What Are Virtual Cards?

Virtual cards operate in the same way as physical cards, but they’re stored digitally instead of in a regular wallet or purse. With a virtual debit card, for example, you can use your unique card number, expiry date and CVC to make purchases online in the same way as you would input the details displayed on a physical debit card.

Although virtual cards are routinely used for online purchases, they can be used in-store too. By storing your virtual card on your smartphone, you can use it to make contactless payments. This increases the applicability of virtual cards and makes them not just an addition to a physical card, but a viable alternative.

What Are the Benefits of Virtual Cards?

If you already have physical cards, you may be wondering whether it’s worth getting a virtual card or if they can offer any advantages over your existing financial setup. However, virtual cards can offer a wide range of benefits, such as:

Reduced Risk of Loss or Theft

Having a physical credit or debit card means you’re always at risk of losing the card or it being stolen. If this happens and you’re unable to report it straightaway, someone could potentially use the card and remove money from your account. In addition to resulting in a financial loss, this could cause considerable disruption if your business credit or debit card is lost or stolen.

Furthermore, reporting a card as lost or stolen typically means that it will be blocked, and another card will be reissued. However, this can take days or weeks, and during that time, you’ll only have limited ways to access your funds.

In contrast, having a virtual card reduces the risk of it being lost or stolen, which enhances the security of your funds and prevents the hassle of having to report and reissue cards if one goes missing.

Immediate Issuing

Whether you’re opening a new account or adding cardholders to an existing account, you won’t want to wait for physical cards to be issued and sent through the post. Generally, cards and personal identification numbers (PINs) are sent out separately, so it can take weeks until you actually have a physical card that you can use.

Conversely, virtual cards can be issued in an instant and you’ll be able to use them straightaway. With no lengthy waiting times, a virtual card means you’ll be able to access the features and benefits of your account without any unnecessary delays.

Unlimited Cards

While accountholders are generally issued just one credit or debit card, you can have as many virtual cards as you like. This gives you the option to use different card numbers, expiry dates and CVCs for different types of purchases.

You may want to use a specific virtual card for all of your subscriptions, for example, and another to pay business suppliers. Similarly, you could segment your spending via different virtual cards to simplify your financial management.

As well as making it easier to monitor your finances, this also helps to keep your funds safe and secure. By using different cards, you aren’t disclosing your main card details to multiple vendors or retailers. Due to this, the risk of fraud is reduced, and any unwanted or unauthorised activity is restricted to just one card and subject to the limits applied to the card.

Seamless Control

Being able to lock and unlock a virtual card means you’re always in control of your spending and your funds. Additionally, you can set spending limits on each virtual card to prevent cardholders from using excess funds. If you issue employees with virtual cards, for example, you can set custom usage limits that enable the cardholder to use the card as intended but ensure they don’t overspend with company funds.

An easy-to-use portal streamlines the management process while customisable controls give you the flexibility you need to ensure virtual cards work for your business.

Virtual Cards for Employees

Virtual cards are becoming an increasingly popular way for businesses to manage employee expenditure and it’s easy to see why. Instead of requiring employees to claim back expenses they’ve incurred, you can shorten workflows by issuing them with virtual cards instead. By implementing appropriate limits, you retain control over company funds while giving employees the functionality they need.

As virtual cards can be used anywhere that the card network is accepted, you’ll find that employees can use them all over the world. If your employees are based overseas or are travelling for work purposes, for example, a virtual card makes it easy to facilitate their business expenditure.

In addition to this, unlimited virtual cards ensure that every employee who needs access to company funds can be issued with a card and custom limits can be applied. No matter how many cards are issued, you can rely on centralised reporting to gain a clear overview of company expenditure at any time. Whether you’re monitoring spending or calculating your tax liability, having access to real-time financial data drastically improves the accuracy and speed of collating and analysing this type of information and, therefore, minimises the time required to assess your company’s financial performance.

Order Unlimited Virtual Cards from PayAlly

With a PayAlly account, you can choose to use physical or virtual debit cards – or both! No matter how many people need access to your funds, we’ll ensure that you have the right cards at your disposal to streamline your expense management and secure your funds.

To learn more about virtual cards and the benefits they can offer, talk to our expert team now on +44 (0)20 7489 6480 or +44 330 777 2244 or email us at