29 October 2020

Virtual Cards: Protection, Prevention and Payments

by Rachelle Lee

Do you make regular online payments? Do you manage your company’s insurance and travel and deal with frequent telephone orders? To complete the transaction, the consultant requests for your credit card data which you dictate over the phone. In less than a few minutes, the transaction is confirmed. You have done it before, several times even and nothing has gone awry. But you would probably feel safer had you used a virtual credit card or a corporate prepaid card.

The reality is telephone orders do carry a bit more risk of a data breach than a standard online payment. Despite the stringent security measures that have been put in place, identity theft has been on the rise. Incidents such as data breaches often compromise consumer information. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), three data breaches happen every day. Over 4 million records have already been lost in breaches, as of March 2020.

Arguably the threat of identity theft in Singapore is minuscule in terms of probability. Hence, taking safety measures may come across as an inconvenient additional step. However, this form of fraud almost always goes undetected until well after the fact so awareness might be your best form of protection.

What to do in case of a data breach

Have you been a victim of a data breach? Has a company you have an account with or do business with has been found its data hacked? Here is what you should do:

  1. Contact your bank or card-issuing company and immediately block your card. It is worthwhile to address this promptly as transaction disputes must be made within 30 days of the transaction date.
  2. Contact the merchant directly and inform them of the unauthorized transaction. Request that they withhold the purchase and arrange a refund to your card. Maybe the merchant does not agree to a refund but is agreeable to a dispute claims resolution process. In that case you should obtain a letter or email as evidence of the merchant’s agreement.
  3. Check if there are any other unrecognized transactions and list the details of the transaction dispute. This should include the date, time, location, your card details and the reasons for this transaction dispute. Do not wait to put this together as the transaction dispute needs to be filed within 30 days of the transaction being made.
  4. Change your password used with the company where your records were breached and at any other company where you use the same password. You just never know the extent of the data was released or hacked in the course of a breach.

Credit card safety tips

To avoid such exposure, here are some simple online safety measures you can look out for:

The environment of the person receiving your credit card information

There should be an ideal silence where every word can be heard clearly by both you and the person you are speaking to.

Playback for confirmation

We have been so schooled to ask for information to be repeated by the receiver to ensure the accuracy of details. While tempting, it is not a good idea to ask for your credit card data to be repeated out loud. You could instead inquire about the payment status. All credit card transactions are performed in real-time. A consultant processing your telephone order should therefore be able to provide immediate feedback on the payment.

CVV/CVC number

You should not be expected to provide your CVV/CVC number. All the data required for a telephone order is your credit card number and its expiry date.  Also, never give your 3d secure password or any other password. Keep your feelers peeled for anyone asking you for such information. Choose a trusted company that explains the steps of the payment procedure for your telephone order. They will only ask for the relevant credit card details.

The alternative: Get a virtual card

A virtual card works exactly like physical cards, with more enhanced security features. Virtual cards consist of only the card number, expiration date, and security code. Virtual cards do not have physical characteristics such as a mag stripe or an EMV chip. Therefore, these cards cannot be used in physical stores.

Here is why it is the preferred payment mode for recurring online payments, such as ongoing subscriptions and digital ads payments.

For starters, a virtual card cannot be stolen and hacking its PIN is nearly impossible.

It also operates as a shield between merchant websites and the funding source, only putting through authorized transactions to the funding source. That way you are protected in instances of an unsecured connection and against any possibility of a data breach.

The option to set your preferred expiration date and credit limit at any time, adds another security layer against any exposure to fraudulent activity.

Other benefits of a virtual card include:

  1. Secure payments can be made online, without owning a physical card;
  2. No waiting time for a virtual card to be issued;
  3. It offers anonymity and is perfect for those who do not want to provide information about their physical cards;
  4. It is a convenient payment option for online purchases, without having to get your wallet out to retrieve your credit card details;
  5. You can pay on any merchant websites, anywhere globally as long as you have internet / mobile access.

The only limitation with a virtual card is that it does not offer cash withdrawals.

Several card companies offer a virtual card. As you are reviewing operational efficiencies, it might be useful to explore a virtual card that comes with a cloud-based expense management solution. This streamlines payment through to finance reconciliation while eliminating any need for manual entry.

Integration with expense management solution

Volve offers an improved expense management solution experience, with the same safety standards that is available on all Visa products. Volve is easily integrated into back-office systems and supports reconciliation and cash flow forecasting processes with real-time data.

The Volve virtual card is a Visa corporate prepaid card. It allows you to adjust the spending limits and make free top-ups as often as you like. Employees can have access to several Volve virtual cards that are assigned to different categories of use. Each virtual card features its own unique card details and can be terminated or removed at any time from within the platform. You empower employees, but remain in full control of the company spend: This has been particularly well-received by managers of remote teams.

For Volve virtual cards that are assigned for shared usage: Users can view available balances and activity at any time. Budget owners are able to immediately address activities that are not in line with guidelines and take the corrective action required.

Regardless of the size of your business, virtual cards can help simplify and automate operations, reducing the time employees spend on manual data processes. Instead of spending hours reconciling receipts and employee expenses, employees have more time to focus on value-added areas of the business. This can bring in additional revenue and provide a competitive advantage.

Take advantage of the benefits of automating your expense management solution with an all-in-one spend solution from Volve. Your employees and your bottom-line will feel the difference within a relatively short period after implementation.

About Volve

Volve’s corporate card comes with an automated expense management solution and reporting tool. This enables all functions of business to capture productivity growth potential from time-cost reductions, greater accuracy, increased visibility and control.

From sales to human resources to finance operations, management can look forward to shifting resources away from repetitive manual practices. Instead, they can realize strategic goals that create more value and deliver higher returns.

Experience how one single solution can improve accountability, accuracy and efficiency. Test drive Volve today free for 30 days.

Rachelle Lee
Growth Hacker
Prior to scaling next-generation financial services, Rachelle lived out of a suitcase across Asia working on a 3-year research plan gathering customer insights and synthesising consumer decision journeys for global creative agencies, engaging with businesses on growth marketing, brand storytelling and customer engagement models for future business growth. She still drinks too much coffee, doing meaningful work with trailblazers and innovators to bring greater literacy to spend management solutions.

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