In India, it’s very hard to get a debit card which supports international payments. Only a few Private Banks offer international transaction supported VISA/Mastercard debit cards to its customers. But these are not cheap at all. To get a premium debit card from any Private Banks is a very costly affair. You need to maintain a very high minimum balance (Monthly average balance or MAB) to operate a Savings Bank Account and also these cards come with a very high annual maintenance fee.
But what if we get a free a preloadable virtual debit card in India which also supports the international transaction, then it will be a bonus for not only the bloggers or freelancers but for everyone.
We often get confused between Debit and Credit cards. In simple term, in Debit card we pay before we can use it, while in credit card we pay after we use the card. A credit card is a kind of loan where card issuing bank gives a usage limit up to which you can use the card and charges interest after some fixed no interest period. It varies from 20 to 30 days as per the terms of the Issuing Banks. These cards also come with high annual renewal fees.
What is a Virtual Credit Card
We literally, cannot create Virtual credit card online, because as I told earlier, Credit card is a kind of loan and all credit card processing Banks offer these cards to those who have a high net worth or regular source of income. Sometimes Banks may provide you a credit card if you can offer some fixed deposit as security.
A virtual credit card is nothing but a random number which only can generate by the actual credit card holder through internet banking or any other means to protect their actual credit card information from online fraud. It has its own set of generated numbers with expiry date and CVV and can be created with VISA or MasterCard payment gateway as per card issuing Bank’s norm.
As we all know how risky it is to give our credit card details to some unknown online service providers. It reduces the risk of exposing the underlying Credit/Debit limit as the Primary Card details are not communicated to the Merchant.
A virtual credit card is created for any limited online transaction purpose like shopping from an overseas company or paying for any not so established company where we do not want to reveal our card number. A virtual credit card can be created for 1 day to 3 days, after that the card will destroy itself and no one can misuse the card. There is also some upper limit of the virtual credit card beyond which the card can not be used.
These cards mainly issued for single online transaction only to protect the security and identity of the actual credit card holder.
You can easily create unlimited virtual credit cards as per your needs through the internet banking option of card issuing banks. For example, you can easily create a virtual credit card from ICICI net banking by navigating Home>Credit Cards>Virtual Credit Cards.
What is Virtual Debit Card and How it Works?
Virtual Debit Card also is known as prepaid electronic card or e-wallet or digital wallet which can be created instantly through online or through mobile apps. As the name indicates, the Card is Virtual in nature, that means, you won’t get any physical card, but you will get all the facilities of Physical Debit card. The Virtual Debit Card may be Visa/MasterCard or Rupay based and has its own unique card number, expiry date and CVV number.
The virtual debit card can be used for any e-commerce websites or online payments without revealing the actual identity of the cardholder. You can easily create a virtual debit card by installing the Apps from Play Store or iOS App Store.
There are many Indian Govt. , Private Banks and recently launched Payments Banks offer free virtual Debit card in India. But most of these Indian Virtual Debit card do not support international transaction or payments.
Let’s see what are the key benefits
Key features of Virtual Debit Card
- Virtual Debit card can be created instantly through online or mobile Apps.
- Pre-loadable with zero joining fee and annual maintenance fee.
- Do not have to maintain any minimum average balance.
- Can be used for any merchant sites or e-commerce sites.
- No separate Documentation or installation required anyone can create the card easily.
- Reduces the risk of online frauds.
- Easily loadable from internet banking or credit/debit cards.
Anyone can get a free virtual debit card by installing mobile apps from Android or iOS store. Almost all Indian Banks have their own e-wallet or Digital wallet apps which also offer a free virtual debit card in VISA/Mastercard Platform. For example, ICICI Bank Pockets App, HDFC Bank PayZapp or SBI Buddy. But none of them offer an international transaction facility.
How to get Free Virtual Debit Card in India for international transaction
If you need to use your free Virtual Debit card for International payments as well as want to have some banking facilities with least hassles, then these two types of Digital wallets Apps best suit for all your purpose.
1. KOTAK 811
Best mobile apps for international payments as well as small online transaction. You can easily open Kotak 811 account from Home, only you need a Valid Aadhaar and PAN Card.
- Easy and instant account creation by installing Apps or from Website by Aadhaar based OTP system.
- No minimum balance, all full-fledged banking facility with deposit limit up to Rs.1.00 lacs per FY. The account can easily be converted into a full-fledged zero balance banking account without any deposit limits after full KYC validation.
- Free VISA virtual debit card with international transaction rights.
- Earn interest.
- Can be used across any e-commerce platform through NetBanking or Virtual card payment.
- You can also request a physical debit card which can be used across any ATM in India.
- Lots of merchant offers.
For details of charges and information, Visit here.
Axis Bank ASAP Account is another option you can use for generating a free virtual debit card for the international transaction. You can create ASAP account instantly with Adhaar based OTP.
- Zero Balance account with zero maintenance fees.
- Instant Aadhaar OTP based Account opening.
- Free virtual debit card with international transaction rights.
- Option for the Physical Debit card. (Chargeable)
- You can convert the ASAP account to full-fledged banking account after KYC validation. Deposit limit Rs. 1.00 lacs per FY without full KYC.
- Earn interest.
- A virtual debit card can be used across any merchant websites in India.
- Merchant offers.
For details of charges, Visit here.
Updates: After the recent Supreme Court verdict on Aadhaar last year, Banks or any Financial institutes cannot directly fetch users information from the UIDAI database without the consent of the applicants. Therefore, you need to link DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) to these above-stated Digital accounts and have to provide consent to the Bank to fetch your data from UIDAI database to open Kotak-811 or Axis Bank ASAP accounts.
Other Free Virtual Debit cards for Blogger
In our previous article, we have already discussed the best alternatives of PayPal for Indian Bloggers or freelancers.
Entropay is also a kind of digital e-wallet, can be used for a variety of e-commerce platforms. Entropay offers a similar Visa based virtual prepaid debit card for a secure online transaction. You can use the card for any international transaction as well as Indian E-commerce sites Amazon.
The opening of Entropay account is straightforward, anyone from India can open Entropay account online and get an instant virtual debit card. Though the charges are bit higher than other e-wallets sites.
Updates: Entropay stop accepting new user registration and existing users cannot be able to top up their virtual credit card from credit or debit card or online Bank transfer.
- Easy to sign up and free account creation.
- Easy reloadable globally accepted a virtual debit card for an online transaction. You can destroy the cards after use.
- You can add funds in INR from direct bank transfer or from Debit/Credit cards. The amount will exchange into your preferred currency like GBP, EUR or USD.
- Can be used for wide ranges of Visa enable merchants.
- Global money transfer facility.
Funding fees vary from 3.95% to 4.95% depending on your mode of transfer. If you add balance to your EntroPay account by Bank transfer, then they will charge 3.95% of the amount. While the fees will increase to 4.95% of the amount if the adding fund is via Debit/Credit card.
The charges of Entropay is more than other e-wallets like Skrills or Transferwise.
If you have knowledge of any other Indian Virtual Debit card which is Globally accepted, then please share your comments below.