Credit cards details are stolen every time over the internet. Lot of security measures are put in place to avoid card numbers getting hacked. Yet, poor internet usage practices leads to lot of users loosing their card details to hackers. Card details are also stolen physically. This is where virtual credit cards might help.
Virtual or pre paid credit cards are temporary or disposable credit cards issued by various financial institutions. These cards have different credit card numbers than your original card and may have some topped up value from your base account. The cards are also optionally set to expire after some pre defined usage or after some duration.
Thus even if your virtual card details are stolen or lost, you will not loose your original card details. By limiting the usage, you further reduce the chances of some hacker using it.
How are virtual credit cards generated.
Usually the providers of virtual or pre paid credit card provides users with some software or a mobile app. Mobile apps are getting more popular these day- needless to say.
By using the app, you first link your original credit card/ debit card / virtual wallets or your bank accounts to the app. You can then choose what type of virtual credit card you want to generate, enter a predefined amount, if needed, set an expiry limit and generate the card.
A new card number would be temporarily generated and then can be used for your online purchases.
What to do if your virtual card payment fails.
It all depends on the settings of your generated card. Some cards are generated to be used only once. Thus with one usage and failure, the card will not be usable again. You’ll need to generate a new one in that case.
Some virtual cards generation can be automated.
Virtual credit cards in Singapore : Availability
Our banking systems are widely and easily available, built with good trustworthy technology and thus makes it easier to deal with our banking needs. Prepaid virtual cards are not widely used and are not much popular in Singapore but some providers do exists and their services can be used for virtual payments. Few new entrants have also started offering virtual or pre paid credit debit cards lately.
DBS Singapore currently offers this service to their Corporate Banking Clients. Read more in depth about these in the section below about virtual cards availability in Singapore.
HSBC Singapore currently has a service called HSBC Virtual Card, however this refers to virtually carrying your issued card in the mobile app.
Other providers like Fevo Prepaid, Matchmove cards, YouTrip cards,GrabPay card can be of interest. More details of each below.
Some of us might still wonder on the purpose of pre paid or virtual credit cards .
Use of Virtual Credit or Prepaid cards.
Use overseas: Some prepaid or virtual credit cards may be needed if you want to use them for international purchases outside Singapore. You would not like to disclose your details to international traders. Virtual credit cards can be used online as long as they are enabled for it and follow the same protocols like VISA/ Master card or AMEX for example.
You can use virtual credit cards for your kids or gift them. If you want to control the credit card spending of your child, you could consider pre paid cards. Also, you can consider this as a one time gift to your family member.
What virtual credit cards are available in Singapore.
Quite a few number of providers offer virtual credit cards in Singapore. Some of them are also linked to ezlink. Banks like HSBC and DBS provides these service too but to corporate clients.
For direct consumers, we have gathered the below list of prepaid or virtual credit card providers. Do read about each of them in details below.
GrabPay card linked to GrabPay wallet
GrabPay has also launched GrabPay cards that can be linked to your GrabPay wallet an can be used as virtual cards for online payments as well as overseas usage.
If you have used GrabPay wallet, by signing up for GrabPay Card, one gets both a digital and a physical card that can be used for payments.
At the time of writing this article, GrabPay card offers Mastercard and these are Asia’s first numberless card. Meaning the physical card does not have the numbers printed on them for security reasons but can be used as normal cards for online purchases, at in-store payment terminals, overseas ATM withdrawals as well as MRT and bus rides in Singapore.
Vividcard by Singapura Finance
Vividcard is a prepaid Mastercard offered by Singapura Finance, a company established in Singapore since 1950s. Vivid prepaid cards is linked to an e-wallet account which can be created by signing up for an savings account with them.
Vivid card’s savings account also offers good returns on your deposits. 1.05% per annum on deposits up to 10K, 1.30% per annum on above 10K to 20K SGD while 0.25% per annum on above 20K SGD.
At the time of penning down this article, the Vivid savings account eligibility criteria includes only Singaporeans and PRs aged 16 years and older.
YouTrip started with the idea of exchanging foreign currencies online and spending it during your trip overseas.
These cards can also be used with ezLink. YouTrip has an amazing mobile app and you can even deactivate your card in one-click through the app if you have misplaced your YouTrip Mastercard.
Signing up with you trip is easy. Begin with downloading the app. Sign up with your NRIC details and the card is mailed to you asap.
Find out more about youtrip cards here.
Fevo Prepaid cards
Fevo provides a pre paid card which is powered by Mastercard and can be used world-wide with all MasterCard merchants.
These prepaid cards can also be used for public transport. You’ll have to activate MasterCard account based ticketing or ABT. More details of activating this can be found with translitlink website.
Fevo cards will only available to someone with a valid NRIC, FIN or passport and proof of residence.
Fevo cards can also be used with Samsung Pay.
Matchmove cards is also an award winning provider who are also scaling to help businesses manage payments.
Match make cards enable you to send and also receive money from anywhere globally. Learn more about Matchmove cards here.
Revolut Premium cards
Revolut is an online banking provider, a fintech startup which now offers a premium account. As a part of premium account, one has access to prepaid cards or single use credit cards. These single use cards are great for online shopping as one does not need worry if the card details are hacked later.
Revolut premium accounts also comes with an award winning anti fraud system that alerts their users on suspicious activities on the account. However, as the time of composing this post, Revolut premium charges S$9.99 a month but also offers 0% currency conversion fees and 0$ ATM fees for Singapore dollars withdrawals.
Wise Multicurrency card
Wise, formerly TransferWise offers a multi currency account which lets you use the card in 200 countries and also spend using Apple or Google Pay. The card costs 10 SGD at the time of writing this article. Wise markets this service as being way cheaper than the local banks.
Check Wise Multicurrency here.
BigPay is actually a money app, that includes a card that you may use anywhere in the world. The app also helps you track your expenses and track budgets. Big Pay also allows you to sign up using MyInfo if you are based in Singapore.
Check BigPay card here.
FlexM is also a digital wallet which allows you to pay for purchases and digital services both locally and worldwide. FlexM. Check FlexM cards here. FlexM is also registered fintech org and partnered with MAS’ SGQR
DBS Virtual Credit cards (Corporate clients only)
DBS Singapore provides a service of generating virtual credit cards to their corporate customers. This way issuance of different credit or debit cards for employees can be managed well by their corporate clients.
DBS currently offers complimentary Travel Accident Insurance, 24/7 Online reporting tool (*T&Cs apply) , coverage for employee misuse- if the company holds two or more virtual credit cards.
Hope the guide is useful to help you decide on which virtual credit cards to choose in Singapore. Learn more about various cashless payment methods available in Singapore or If you are into money management, do learn more about various tips to save money in Singapore.