Several digital banks in Pakistan allow users to get a virtual debit card that can be used for online payments and purchases. Bank Alfalah is currently the only conventional bank offering virtual bank cards to its users.
Online banking is quickly becoming the most dominant mode of payments and purchases. In Pakistan, bank cards are gradually becoming popular due to the efforts of the State Bank of Pakistan to push toward a cashless economy.
However, though physical bank cards are widely used, a new type of bank card has recently emerged in the Pakistani banking landscape: virtual debit cards.
This article discusses the four virtual card providers in the country and the benefits these cards provide to the users.
What Is a Virtual Card?
Virtual bank cards are real cards without any physical form, and they are created and managed virtually, making them safe against misplacements.
Bank cards are usually found in physical form, where users get their debit or credit cards delivered to their homes or received via bank branches. Virtual cards are a safer way to make digital transactions, with the world moving towards online banking.
They are digital versions of bank cards that users can order from banks via their mobile applications of internet banking. Each virtual bank card has its 16-digit card number and CVV, and they cannot be lost as they are always present on your mobile banking app.
Top Virtual Card Providers in Pakistan
Nayapay, Sadapay, and JazzCash are the only mobile banks offering virtual bank cards to their users. Users can also get a virtual debit card from the Alfa mobile app.
The concept of virtual bank cards is relatively new in Pakistan. There are only a few virtual debit card providers in the country, and almost all are mobile banks.
Here are the top four virtual debit cards in Pakistan.
Alfa Virtual Debit Card
In 2020, Bank Alfalah partnered with Mastercard to launch its virtual debit card. This card allows users to make online transactions and purchases via their mobile banking app. Users can easily generate Alfa virtual debit card through the Alfa app.
To order your virtual card, you need to follow these steps.
Open your Alfa mobile app and click on Cards.
Now, click on Virtual Debit Card at the end of the list.
On the next page, click on Create Virtual Card.
Select the maximum monthly limit and the expiration period of the card. Accept the terms and conditions and click on Proceed.
The card fee is PKR 200 + Federal Excise Duty. Click on Continue when the prompt appears.
You will be sent a two-part authentication code. Four characters are sent to your email and four to your mobile number. Enter these characters and click on Confirm.
You can now use your Alfa virtual debit card to make online transactions.
Nayapay Virtual Card
Nayapay is a new entrant to the mobile banking sector of the country. The digital bank allows users to register their accounts online and order Visa debit cards. Users can also order virtual Visa debit cards.
Although Nayapay automatically issues Visa virtual debit card with every new registration, users can also apply for another virtual debit card. These cards are issued online and require users to set up a pin and monthly limit.
To order a Nayapay virtual debit card, follow these steps.
Open your Nayapay app and click on Cards at the bottom of the page.
Now, click on the “+” sign at the top-right of the screen.
Choose the Visa Virtual Card from the available options and click on Order.
You maybe be asked to enter your MPIN to confirm the transactions.
You will be instantly issued a Visa virtual debit card, which can be used for all international transactions. Check the Cards tab to manage your virtual card.
JazzCash Virtual Debit Card
JazzCash is one of the largest mobile banks in Pakistan. It was launched in 2012 and aimed to provide basic banking services to users. With JazzCash’s virtual debit card, users can easily perform online transactions and control their monthly spending.
To create a JazzCash virtual debit card, follow these steps.
Open your JazzCash app and scroll down to the Debit Card Option.
Click on the Virtual Debit Cards tab from the list.
On this screen, click on Order Now to proceed with the registration.
Select the name you want to appear on your virtual debit card, then click on Set Spending Preference.
Enter the required daily spending limit and the expiration period. Then click on Set Spending Preference.
Check the details and click on Confirm Order.
Your JazzCash account will be charged PKR 200, so ensure enough credit in your account.
You can now use your JazzCash virtual debit card for online transactions and purchases wherever Mastercard is accepted.
Sadapay Virtual Debit Card
Much like Nayapay, Sadapay was launched in 2020 and aimed at providing digital banking solutions to the unbanked population in the country.
Users can download the Sadapay app from Play Store and App Store and register their accounts.
Once they complete the onboarding process, users will automatically get their Mastercard virtual debit card on their mobile app. Users can also apply for a physical debit card for their use.
Advantages of Virtual Bank Cards
Virtual bank cards are the future of banking in the world. Some of the advantages of virtual cards are:
- Create instant cards
- No paperwork required
- Control spending limits
- Freeze or unfreeze cards depending on usage
- No need to carry multiple physical cards all the time
- Can hold several virtual cards on your phone
- Card details are safe and secure in-app
- Virtual cards cannot be stolen
Easypaisa Virtual Debit Card
Easypaisa, or Telenor Microfinance Bank, was the first to launch virtual debit cards in Pakistan. However, after a few months of its launch, the virtual card service was suspended indefinitely. Various factors contributed to its cancellation, including:
- No limit on the number of virtual cards allowed per user.
- State Bank of Pakistan’s concern about scamming.
- The wary stance towards the adoption of disruptive technologies by the Pakistanis.
While physical debit cards are popular among the people of Pakistan, virtual bank cards are slowly gaining traction. Only a few mobile and commercial banks have successfully launched their virtual debit cards.
These cards provide added security and allow easy online transactions without always having physical cards at hand. Though the idea is new, it has several advantages which users need to identify. This will aid in adopting virtual bank cards in the country and build a path toward a truly cashless industry.
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