Virtual Credit Card – Create Instantly & Use for Online Transactions

POSTED BY manish ON April 29, 2013 COMMENTS (100)

Are you scared of using your credit card online on some website because you feel there might be  fraud or a security threat? If that’s the case, then welcome to the world of Virtual credit cards, which I will explain in today’s article and also how it can be useful for you.

Virtual Credit Cards in India

virtual credit card (VCC) is an add-on credit card issued on your primary credit card; only it’s virtual and does not have any plastic existence. You can instantly create it, using your net-banking facility by providing your credit card or debit card details. All relevant details like the card number, the ‘VALID FROM’ date, the expiry date and the CVV number are visible online to you and this virtual credit card enables you to transact online with a credit limit of your choice. Also the virtual card does not have any fee associated with it and comes for FREE!

The key details of your VCC like the card number, expiry date etc. are used when you transact online, but your primary card details are never shared with the merchant online, so you never have to be worried about losing your card or having to carry it ‘safely’ in your wallet. There are tons of banks which offer these instant virtual cards these days. Some of them are

  • ICICI VCC
  • HDFC NetSafe
  • Kotak netc@rd
  • SBI-Virtual Card
  • Axis Bank e-wallet card

Validity of the virtual card ?

The virtual credit card is valid only for a single use and automatically expires within 24 hours if the virtual credit card is not used, which means that the chances of credit card fraud or misuse are significantly lower than a real credit card. Also understand the if you hold a VISA card, then the virtual card which you will get will be VISA one and if it’s Master Card, then it’s going to obviously be a Master card.

Is virtual Credit Card only for Online Use ?

Yes, as a virtual credit card is not a physical card, it can be used only for online transactions, for which all you need is credit card number, CVV number and Expiry number. Once used the card expires and can’t be used again. If you want to execute another transaction, you will have to generate another virtual card. The maximum limit of your virtual credit card can be as high as your actual limit on the real credit card. When you make the payment on some website using your virtual card, it will appear on your physical credit card statement itself.

Most of the banks issue a card which is valid internationally and you can use them on the websites outside India, however some banks like SBI bank still issue virtual credit cards which are not valid outside India. You will have to check with your bank if it is valid internationally or not.

Can you create Virtual Credit Cards using a Debit Card?

The answer is Yes for most banks. Even if you just have a debit card and not a real credit card (Check out the best credit card in India as per our survey), you can still use your debit card to create a virtual card. There are many people who want to transact online at times, but do not hold a credit card. Now they can create a VCC and use that to transact online. However I just checked my ICICI account and when I want to create a virtual credit card, it asks for my credit card number, so it seems like ICICI bank doesn’t allow VCC creation via a debit card. Anybody created one using debit card in ICICI bank? Let us know!

Real Life Situations when you can use Virtual Credit Card ?

  • When you are transacting on a website, where you do not feel very confident about security, but still you have to transact anyways due to some reason. Check out this fraud
  • When any friend of yours ask you for your credit card, where you want to “NO” , but still can’t say NO. You can now create a virtual credit card and give the details to him.
  • When you do not have a real credit card, but only have a net-banking facility, you can still create virtual credit cards and use them.
  • You can also use these virtual cards where you just want to try out the service , but by default the website starts charging the card on renewal basis. If you use virtual card, it will anyways get cancelled after one use and there will be no renewal charges later – Here is a real experience.

Do you feel virtual credit cards to be of any use in your life? Are you already using virtual credit card or planning to use them? Please share it with others!

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100 replies on this article “Virtual Credit Card – Create Instantly & Use for Online Transactions”

  1. kripa says:

    i have icici bank saving account and debit card can i create VCC

    1. No , you cant create a VCC unless you have a primary credit card !

  2. Kapil says:

    Does Virtual cards can be used for EMi in sites like flipkart and amazon? I have account with icici and sbi.

    1. I guess it can be used !

  3. karmendra says:

    HDFC Netsafe use For Emi Option on Flipkart

    1. Thanks for your comment karmendra

      1. annir says:

        NetSafe FAQ : from HDFC bank.

        Can I use the NetSafe Card at all websites?
        You can use your NetSafe Card at all the websites, which accept Visa / Mastercard cards as payment options.
        Note:
        Avoid using your NetSafe card when:
        1. You will be required to present your actual plastic HDFC Bank Card to receive your purchase, e.g. for purchase of some airline and movie tickets – check each merchant’s policy carefully before you purchase!
        2. Card is to be used for recurring or installment payments.

        HDFC asking to avoid installment payments cleary.
        If possible then how ? say for a 3 month installment. thanks in advance…………….. @karmendra

  4. sbi virtual credit card doesn’t accept international payments.

    how can i use that now my using entropay but some of not accepted

    1. I am not aware of that !

  5. arun says:

    what about icici,does it work?

    1. I have myself created a virtual credit card, but never used it . SO from creation point of view, it works !

  6. arun says:

    Does HDFC netsafe cards work with non indian websites as on 2014?

    1. Hi Arun, cant give answer to that as I dont have HDFC netsafe on my end. I use ICICI bank

  7. Reji says:

    Happy news to all hdfc account holders
    Now HDFC Netsafe card is ready.

    1. Thanks for sharing that !

      1. ranjeeta says:

        r u sure hdfc netsafe card is ready to use…. m not getting any options to create vcc in hdfc

        1. Not sure of this moment ! . Kindly get info from HDFC customer care

  8. Fazal says:

    SBI does not allow certain portals where we cannot use their VCC. HDFC afaik still has not resumed VCC. Icici requires credit cards. Axis has the e-wallet & e-shop card issue. Any bank which does not have these limitations?

    1. I dont think there will be anybank which does not have some restriction .

  9. Siddhant says:

    Hello Manish,
    I used to create virtual credit cards using HDFC Netsafe but now they have limited daily card creation to 5 only, which service do you suggest me to choose now as i need to create about 10 cards a day atleast.
    Siddhant

    1. YOu need 10 cards in a day ?

  10. John says:

    Some people sell VCC, How to they do it ? Is it like they generate VCC from their account and sell it off to unknown persons.

    Is it risky ?

    1. They sell VCC ? It seems too risky to me when i hear this ? How much they charge ?

  11. tusharvyas says:

    it just sucks with axis bank everything is meant to rack your brains out..

    E-Wallet card & E-shop card

    E-wallet beats the purpose you can make this card with debit/credit cards , but it comes with a vbv code & so you can’t use these cards on international sites like amazon / iTunes / or Google play store & etc etc

    the E-Shop card can only be made with a credit card & i guess this doesn’t come with an VBV, haven’t used it so can’t be sure …

    Entropay is a way better alternative i guess

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us

    2. Althaf says:

      How do i top up in entropay. my canara card doesnt work. w

  12. Simran says:

    I have recently applied (and regreted big time) with ICICI Credit Card.
    On their website I do not see any info on VCC – except FAQ. Search on google also.
    Strange – once upon a time this bank was the best in India in terms of transparency, product information and sharing terms that will bite a customer’s pocket. Today they hide with marketing techniques… just show u positive side. This is with ALL BANKS. I love ICICI, HDFC, Kotak, and all others etc. but then why do they engage in such dirty tricks just to make their share values go up or increase market noise??

    1. I created one for myself sometime back . I am not sure if you are properly trying to find out in your netbanking !

      1. Ronak Shah says:

        I just called up ICICI Bank but they said they just stopped issuing VCC’s.

        Is it true?

        Somehow, I am shocked because I don’t believe the rep who said that.

        Can you verify?

        Thanks.

        Ronak.

        1. There is nothing like issuing it . You have to create it from your netbanking account. Are you able to see the option or not ?

          1. Reji says:

            There is no option to create VCC card in ICICI website. Also we can’t purchace anything using Axis Bank e wallet card fro abroad. I tried many times with my Axis account. But all times this message displays – “Transaction has been declined”
            Error Code : Declined
            A charge to your credit card was not approved. There are a number of reasons why this may happen.

          2. Ronak Shah says:

            Can you please tell me how to create one?

            I want to create 1 right now. It’s urgent.

            Thanks.

            Ronak.

            1. When you go to your netbanking, on top side there will be “credit card” section , when you click on that, you will see “virtual credit card” option on left hand side.

              Note that you need to have a credit card already with bank for this facility .

            2. Ram says:

              Tried same, its been pending for 5 days, called up icici and they said, they stopped issuing it.

            3. Not sure then .. may be its really stopped . I can see the option online on my internet banking account. May be it will not work !

            4. Ram says:

              Yes, option is stil there. But they are giving me stupid answers on phone , that use 3d secure instead of VCC. Damn , VCC has lot more to offer than 3d secure.

            5. Hmm .. Not sure how to get more answers for you on this matter.

  13. atul says:

    HDFC does not offer netsafe vcc anymore! I have been following up with them for months and they keep saying they are uprading their system – which almost sounds like a lie now.
    Please tell me THE BEST VCC that can be used to buy india or abroad – FROM WHICH BANK?
    Is ICICI the best option?

    1. I am not sure then . I have not used ICICI vcc

    2. Fida says:

      You can use Axis Bank e wallet card

  14. Devashish says:

    Want to open a b2 Account with ICICI, with aim to use b2 VCC for e-commerce EMI payments.. like buying a laptop from flipkart on EMI using b2 VCC. I dont have any other credit card. So, is this possible, that I allot a certain amount to VCC as credit limit and then carry out EMI purchases?

    1. lockhrt999 says:

      It’s not possible according to the customer care for b2 saving account.

  15. Kumar lalwani says:

    Thanks for the post, I have generated Virtual Visa credit card in SBI Net banking But that card is only working in Indian website, I am not able to purchase web hosting from Global websites where VISA card is accepted, and I generated HDFC NET SAFE from my friends account and that HDFC card is Working Internationally but why not the SBI one?
    please do let me know with its reasons..

    1. It may happen that SBI virtual card does not allow international shopping !

  16. rajendra says:

    hi bro iam also try to create vcc in hdfc to day but they are upgrading the service,hope tomarrow we can,,,,,,,,

    1. So what can I personally do for you ?

  17. Vinayaka says:

    Hi Manish,
    I have Karur vysya bank’s International debit card (Visa electron).Can i create a VCC with this card,if yes please give me the link.Thanks in advance 🙂

    1. I am not sure on that, check with the bank only

  18. Anika says:

    Incase you have purchased something using the VCC, but have to returnee item. In the regular scenario the money is transferred back to your CC or DC. How would it work with a VCC as the card would have expired by then.

    Furthermore, the article is very informative, however it doesn’t list any of the drawbacks of using a VCC. Would you know what they may be?

    Thanks,
    Anika

    1. Anika

      Thanks for sharing that . I am not quite sure what are the drawbacks . Cant think of any , only some limitations are there like you cant carry it anywhere !

  19. Chetan Ambi says:

    Thanks for sharing this information. Very few people know about the existence of Virtual Credit Cards. Even I came to know after reading this article. Thanks again!!

    1. Good to know that Chetan !

  20. Ramya says:

    Virtual Cards are very handy when we want to make an online transaction and don’t have the physical card with us.

    ICICI B2B website offers eWallet as well. It is similar to VCC. Only difference is that we need to load/fill the card with required amount from linked Savings account. It is like a prepaid card.

    1. Thansk for sharing that Ramya !

  21. Venki says:

    I am using HDFC and Citi (recent) credit cards. Both the services are very nice. I am using HDFC netsafe card for almost all transactions long time. It is very user friendly, any card created is valid for 24 hours. Even if we use partial amount, rest will be adjusted back to card limit after 24 hours. Only limitation I have faced so far, we can’t use it for EMI transactions. We need to provide original card number to the retailer.

    It is always better to create virtual card amount little higher than expected shopping amount. An example, when I was paying insurance premium online, it wasn’t calculate service charges ahead of the gateway pass. I had to create another card with some buffer amount.

    Unfortunately virtual card facility is not available on Citi cards.

    I feel virtual cards are quite safe. You need to reveal your card information only to the EFT service provider (Visa, Mastro, etc…) website.

    1. Thanks for your views and hands on experience on it 🙂

  22. Mandar says:

    Problem : = You can create virtual card only if you have saving bank account with the respective bank.

  23. Surat Das says:

    Be aware of below points where you may land in trouble.
    1. Some establishment may ask for credit card verification physically e.g. airport may ask to see the credit card with which the ticket was purchased
    2. Fraud prevention team at hotels, resorts, restaurants, malls etc. may ask to see the credit card with which pre-booking has been done.

    1. Good point .. Thats the reason we should use these kind of cards only where there is payment to be made but there is no scope of card checking !

      1. Ramya says:

        Manish,

        True.. this is a very good point. Can you add it to the article? All of us would not browse through the comments section!

  24. Raj says:

    As someone else asked before there is very little information on how refunds will be handled. Btw why do you have to worry when various cards are online offering fraud protection upto 3 Lacs. Pick a card that has fraud protection.

    1. Vivek says:

      I am not sure how the refund works. But I have used virtual card no (HDFC netsafe) using my Credit card at makemytrip.com and then have cancelled the ticket and the refund went through smoothly and automatically to my CC account. Hope it helps.

    2. Yes, that may be the issue . I am not sure on how refund works . Have you tried to find it out from customer care ?

  25. gazala khan says:

    Also you said the VCC will be generated even on Dr card. Please let me know about how the limit will be decided ?

    1. You can set it .. but its not available with all the banks .

  26. Phani says:

    Does the VCC carry all benefits? I mean:
    1. All offers valid on my physical card will be valid on VCC or not? Ex: Buy 1, Get 1 movie ticket offer?
    2. Any information on reward points? Cash-back etc?

    1. That level of info is not there !

  27. Arunkumar.R says:

    Hi i need a credit card

      1. Bharath says:

        LMFAO right now 😀

  28. Paresh says:

    If I will book any ticket (like airlines or railway) and in future if I will cancel that ticket then in which Card refund amount will be credited as Virtual Card by which I paid money will be expired.

    1. I guess that should not be much issue ,as it will come to your same account. because its associated with the main card

  29. Paresh says:

    If I will book any ticket (like airlines or railway) and in future if I will cancel that ticket then in which Card refund amount will be credited as card by which paid money will be expired.

  30. apoorv says:

    you wrote: “The virtual credit card is valid only for a single use and automatically expires within 24 hours …”

    This is not true in case of ICICI’s virtual cards. They are valid for longer terms – more than a year in my case.

    1. Yes, seems like that point is not valid these days !

  31. Atharva says:

    Thanks Manish for this post , its been very informative and i had been looking for similar option, as always been nervour making transactions on less trusted sites 🙁

    HDFC site is making some upgrades is whats dispayed & ICICI – requires credit cards as mentioned.

    Thanks, Atharva.

    1. Thanks for your views. you will find this one very useful in that case

  32. md says:

    I am using Virtual Card in SBI and it is a very good way to be keep the online transaction secured.
    The V card can be created with amount limit & duration. So it holds valid until the amount exists & duration you have provided ( can be scheduled)
    Unfortunately other than SBI i havent seen this option for Debit card.

    1. Great , thanks for sharing that 🙂

      1. Thanks for sharing these points !

  33. Explorer says:

    Hi I am using netsafe from hdfc card for last 6 years but recently i face problem while using it on google wallet and paypal. Reason for this was these are meant for one time use on google wallet and paypal first register your card and than the process payment and while registering card they charge 1Rs or 50Rs(it will be in your account ) hence card is used and when they actually process order bank don’t allow transaction.
    In this situation you need to have CC.

  34. Pras says:

    Hi,
    I want to comment on the statement:
    “Yes, as a virtual credit card is not a physical card, it can be used only for online transactions, for which all you need is credit card number, CVV number and Expiry number. Once used the card expires and can’t be used again”
    – I can use Virtual card until the Limit gets over (or) it expires, means, Virtual card with value 1000, I can use multiple transactions until reaches 1000 or Expiry Date

    1. bemoneyaware says:

      From what I know:You can use .for multiple transactions till the Limit specified in virtual card gets over .

      1. Chethan S. says:

        In case of SBI virtual card the card can be used only once – the balance amount after this transaction will come back to originating account. I guess it would be same for others except ICICI where the virtual card is like a secondary credit card.

        1. Yes its different with ICICI bank

    2. Yes, thats true !

  35. Yogendra Bharti says:

    I created my Virtual Credit Card in ICICI against my existing Card, but it’s still active after 1 month, It didn’t get expire in 24 hrs. The only difference was that it was VISA card, where as the physical card i owned was Mastercard.

    1. Explorer says:

      but you can’t use it. try to use it on any website.

      1. Yogendra says:

        Of course I can use it, have used it many times, when I don’t have physical CC handy.

        1. darkmatter says:

          Do we need to have a physical cc to create a VCC out of that or can we create a VCC with just a Savings Bank in ICICI bank.

          1. In almost all the cases YES , but with SBI , you can make it with debit card also

          2. Suryakant says:

            What is the procedure for having V card against credit card. Whether card issuer is charging any amount for that? Pls give some light on befit for having V card.

            1. You can create it from your netbanking portal

            2. darkmatter says:

              I just got my physical credit card recently and I submitted the request for creation of the VCC in the netbanking portal. But now when I called the customer care they say that they have stopped issuing new vcc. Now how can I get the VCC, still in the website the section of the VCC creation still exists.

            3. Are you talking about ICICI Bank ? Because I myself created it online some weeks back !

    2. I guess thats how most of virtual cards now are made, SBI still has a expiry once you use all the amount

    3. Bhasker says:

      ICICI VCC are diffrent. You can create one card like your credit card which has its own cvv no. and expiry date like physical card. You can set a predifined limit on this card and can use it within that spending limit. It doesn’t get expired within 24 hrs or after one transaction like netsafe card of HDFC.

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