Whenever you pay for something online, whether it’s from a big brand or site like Amazon, you are confident that its payment system is secure and that your personal data and your card numbers won’t be stolen from you. However, what happens when you land on the website of a smaller company that has almost no online presence? — Well, you think twice and worry about the possible risk of being ripped off or worst.
If that happens, you would still be able to block unauthorized charges, but you might need to wait a few weeks before getting that money back. That’s why today we’re talking about VCC or Virtual Credit Cards.
By paying with a virtual credit card number, you can shop safely even when the merchant is iffy. So let’s have a look at the benefits as a consumer and as a travel agent.
What are VCC aka Virtual Credit Cards?
A virtual credit card (VCC) is essentially a disposable version of your static debit or credit card, with a randomly-generated number. A prepaid card exclusively for online purchases and with a unique purpose — reduce credit card frauds. But, here’s a few more:
- VCC is a non-physical card
- You can add balance and withdraw the balance
- Full security protection
- Exclusively for online shopping
- Acceptable and usable internationally
Learn more about Virtual Credit Cards for business
Impact of Virtual Credit Cards on the Travel Industry
Virtual cards have been around for some time now, but its benefits are still quite unknown to many people, especially to travelers and travel agencies.
Travelers: the downside of booking holidays online
Currently, most travel booking websites and rental car providers require guests to have a credit card to guarantee their booking. However, the problem arises when these consumers are not able to provide one and consequently they are forced to book their holiday with another company or use a family member’s card. A tedious and impractical process as you can imagine.
Travel agencies: the downside of payment reconciliation and risk fraud
Every time we talk to a travel agent about payments, the term payment reconciliation comes up in the conversation. That’s because card fraud is a top payment-related concern within the travel industry. Studies say that around 37% of travel companies are concerned about the risks of using their cards online (additional fees, duplicated charges, etc.).
Managing a business while having an eye on all the payments is not only time-consuming, it can also cost a lot of money especially if you need to hire someone specifically to monitor all travel supplier transactions.
Read more: SEPA instant payments in ten seconds
That’s when virtual credit cards come into play, for both consumers and travel agencies. They are essentially an alternative way for payment transactions on the internet and doesn’t require you to have a physical credit card number. And let’s not forget about its safety. It turns out that these temporary cards are hacker-proof — they cannot be hacked.
Payment reconciliation & secured transactions
The best part of working with VCC is that, although they are directly associated with your actual credit card, you are able to set a maximum charge and an expiration date for each generated virtual number. And let’s take a minute and talk about payment reconciliation.
Travel agents handle several customers and bookings on a daily basis, which means allocating other several payments —total nightmare sometimes. VCC enables agents to have one unique card number per payment, with a maximum amount of money in it, expiry date and other data such as customer name, making the whole process a lot easier.
In short, we can say that VCC allows travelers and travel agencies to pay their holiday expenses in a safer way: controlled transactions and more flexibility in your payments.