We are living in the world of digitization. The concept of online shopping has increased by manifolds in the last few years. There is a digital India campaign by the BJP government to boost the digital payment transactions across the country. Still, there are many banks still does not support online payments. For such a bank, there is a facility of the virtual debit card. These virtual cards are no different than the regular debit card. There is a great risk involved while doing online transactions through your regular debit card or credit card. To overcome this the best thing you can have is the virtual debit card.
Virtual debit card eliminates the security risk. The main purpose of these virtual cards is for doing online transactions. That is why they are also known as the e-card. It is basically a limit debit card specially created for online transactions. It provides the great feature of doing online transactions without providing the primary card or account details to the merchant. They can be accepted at any location accepting Master and Visa cards.
The virtual debit card is the same as the regular physical debit card. Like the regular debit card, the virtual debit card also carries the card number which will require at the time of the online transaction. This virtual card is usually cheaper than the regular debit card as there is no expense towards printing and shipping the card to its user/holder. You can easily load the money into the virtual debit card by transferring the money via net banking, NEFT, IMPS etc.
The key features of the virtual debit card are as below.
- The cardholder can pay from any of his bank accounts which has internet banking enabled.
- The virtual debit card can be of any amount you want.
- These cards are accepted at any merchant site that accepts Visa and Master Debit/Credit card.
- Initial limit of the card is Rs. 20000, but after doing Aadhaar verification (KYC), you can load up to Rs. 1 lakh.
- As it is a virtual card, you don’t need to expose your main debit/credit card details at any merchant. Your primary account will remain secure.
- The validity. of the card is a maximum of 48 hours or until the transaction is complete. Whichever comes first.
- Like the regular debit/credit card, the transaction done through the virtual card is verified through OTP(One Time Password).
Ease of Use
- No separate account of registration is required.
- Any person having internet banking enabled account can create a virtual debit card.
- You can avail the discount offers for using this virtual debit card.
There is no validity of the card in terms of, if you are not using the card to its full limit till the card gets expired, the amount will be credited back to your bank account. The amount is debited only when the actual transaction is completed.
Now let’s have a look at some of the drawbacks of the virtual debit card.
- Since it is a virtual card, it cannot be used at physical locations (Point of Sale – POS) for a swipe.
- The merchant network would be limited to online only.
- Needs internet banking and transaction facility enabled on the account.
- It is having a very limited validity of 48 hours. Not suitable for travelers.
- Mobile Wallet is far more user-friendly than the virtual debit card.
- There is a fee you need to pay to load the amount into this virtual card.
Read Also: Best Secured Credit Card
Virtual Debit Card providers in India
Here is the list of the banks who provides a virtual debit card in India.
Pockets by ICICI Bank ∗∗∗∗∗
This virtual card provides great flexibility to transfer money to bank accounts, mobile numbers, email id, WhatsApp contacts, Google+ or Facebook id. You can even tap and pay to your friends and request money from the friends.
There are many online discounts offers available for Pockets users. These offers are available right into the mobile app. So you can avail the offer instantaneously. You can pay utility bills, recharge your mobile, book movie tickets, pay restaurant bills. You can even split expenses with your friends. ICICI bank is known for its great customer services. They have proved themselves right in the Pockets app as well. There is an inbuilt chat feature which is very helpful in case you need any assistance. The app supports UPI (Unified Payment Interface) payment option by which you can transfer money to any person’s bank account even on bank holidays. It also supports scan to pay to any Bharat QR codes. Learn More…
Below is the very short and simple registration process.
- Download the mobile app
- Enter your basic details
- Verify your mobile number
- Create your user ID and password of your choice
- Transfer money via internet banking, NEFT, IMPS to load the virtual card
PayZapp by HDFC Bank ∗∗∗∗
HDFC Bank’s PayZapp is also a one-stop solution for online shopping, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, pay the grocery bill, pay hotel bills etc. With the mobile app of PayZapp, you can send money to anyone in your contact list. You can even link the debit card or credit card of any bank to enjoy the most convenient and secure way of payment.
The app supports payment for services like recharge mobile / DTH, travel payment, online shopping, movie ticket booking, hotel bill payment, taxi services, grocery shopping, send money etc. Like the ICICI’s Pockets, there are several discounts offers available for PayZapp users.
Below is the registration process for PayZapp.
- Download the app OR give a missed call on 1800 833 4141 OR SMS PAYZAPP to 5676712 OR scan the QR code.
- Enter basic details
- Register with mobile number you have with your HDFC bank.
- Verify through OTP
- Create 4 to 12 digit secure PIN and you are good to go.
- Link any bank’s debit card or credit card
811 by Kotak Bank ∗∗∗
If you want to open the 811 account you must be 18 years old, should be the resident of India. The 811 account is available for individuals who do not have any other relationship with the bank. Since this is an individual account, you cannot have a joint account. Aadhaar and PAN numbers are mandatory for opening the 811 account.
This is the free online bank account. Bank will not charge any fee for opening the account. Also, there are no charges applicable for fund transfer through net banking. Kotak 811 brings you a Virtual Debit Card inside your Mobile Banking App. You can use it to shop online, pay bills, recharge or use ‘Scan & Pay’ at merchant outlets. 811 Debit Card is given to customers who have verified their detailed using Aadhaar OTP.
You can deposit Rs. 10000 per month to your 811 accounts. Make sure you hold up to Rs. 10000 maximum at a time. Yearly limit for the credits is Rs. 100000 for non-KYC accounts. Once the KYC is done, there is no limit on credits. Remember, you won’t be able to have a virtual debit card if full KYC is not completed within 12 months from the date of opening an account.
DigiBank by DBS ∗∗∗
digibank comes with Samsung Pay – a simple and secure way to pat at merchant’s outlet. With this feature, you can make payment offline to merchant’s outlet using Samsung phone. Simply register your digibank debit card to make a purchase and swipe up the home screen to launch Samsung Pay
It offers tons of feature like:
- Pay any credit card bill payment via digibank
- Send receive money using UPI functionality
- Buy mutual funds, track performance on the go
- Pay using QR code and Bharat code
- 24 X 7 assistance via artificial intelligence
- Track your spending, get saving tips with its budget optimizer function
UDIO by RBL Bank ∗∗
RBL Bank’s Digital Savings Account is the fast, convenient and secure way of opening an account online. You just need your Aadhaar No. and PAN No. to open a Savings Account or Savings + Fixed deposit account. Enjoy a range of unmatched benefits just by maintaining a minimum balance of Rs 5000 in your account OR by doing a SIP or RD for Rs. 2000/month. Load your account with NEFT/IMPS through any other banks.
They don’t have a mobile application yet. Also, there are no discount offers available on the usage of the card. That’s why I have given 2 stars as a rating for this card.
Virtual card by State Bank ∗∗
Once the card is expired or canceled, the unused balance will automatically be transferred back to the customer’s account. The customer can have an infinite number of cards in a single day, there is no limit to that.
State bank also not offering much discount offers and its mobile app is not user-friendly. So no more than 2 stars from my side.
DigiPurse by Union Bank ∗∗
You have to download the mobile app, here is the link for Android, iOS, and Windows. There are no charges for registration and usage of the app. You just need an internet-enabled phone. Once you load the money, the same will be credited into your account after 24 hours.
Through this card, you can recharge your prepaid mobile and DTH service, pay your bills, view statement, add money, do an online transaction for online shopping. The card is valid across India for online shopping.
Below is the registration process.
- Download the mobile app from the link given above.
- Enter the mobile number for verification
- Verify mobile number via OTP
- Enter other basic details
- Load the money and start using your card (It will take 24 hours to get credit into your card)
The main drawback of this card is it does not provide any transaction history, so you will not be able to check the account statement of all your spending.
Payapt by IDBI Bank ∗∗
Send money using the mobile number/email ID/QR code etc. The user can link IDBI bank’s Visa/Master card and make payment directly without loading funds into the wallet. View your transaction history through the mobile wallet. Payapt offers discount offers for online shopping. Here is the download link for mobile app Android.
M Clip by Bank Of Baroda ∗∗
The service is offered by Bank of Baroda in partnership with Wibmo to enable convenient and simple online payments. You can transfer fund to other M clip user. It allows transferring money using a mobile phone number. The user can also send money to an email address. There is a limitation that you can use M-clip via only mobile phone, desktop /web version is not available for M-clip. Since it is a mobile app, you need to have an internet-enabled mobile phone to use this card. M-clip currently supports cards issued on Visa and Master card networks.
Here is the registration process.
- Download the mobile app
- Key in some basic details
- Enter the mobile number for verification (the mobile number should be the same as you have registered with BOB account.
- Load money using a debit card, credit card, internet banking etc. trough “Topping up” option. (you can have more than one card for topping up)
There is a limitation that you can not transfer the money back to your bank account or any other account, it can only be transferred to another M-clip user.
Yes Pay by Yes Bank ∗∗
Like other virtual debit cards, this card also offers bill payments, send/receive money, split bills, mobile and DTH recharge, online shopping etc.
Key features of the card is as below:
- Registration through Aadhaar and PAN card
- Send/Receive money through UPI payment option
- Load money using Yes bank’s debit /credit card, net banking & UPI
- Split bill among friends
- Purchase mobile insurance
- Purchase gift vouchers/coupons
- You will get location-based deals in the mobile app
- View statement, transaction history
So after testing all these virtual debit cards, I am giving 5 stars to Pockets by ICICI bank. It has tons of features and intuitive mobile app. It also has the flexibility of choosing any bank account to link with. I am personally using Pockets for four years and very much satisfied with its features and offers. You may try any of the virtual card mentioned above and share your experience with me in the comment box below.
Hope this information will help you in choosing the best virtual debit card for you.