Money transfers are integral to any person that uses the financial services of banks or payment service providers. It is no wonder that there are many types of transfers, such as ACH or wire payments. So, our team at Genome decided – why not explain what ACH and wire transfers are and the difference between wire transfers and ACH? Let’s get to the bottom of this right away! What you need to know about the ACH bank transfer The ACH money transfer is an electronic payment method made with the help of the Automated Clearing House network. This way, the
A virtual card is something that could seem like a distant future, even twenty years ago. Yet today, it is quite a common thing, which has become handy for many bank clients. This article is dedicated to virtual cards. We will talk about banking cards in general, how they work, and how they evolve to give existence to virtual cards. And after, we will focus on what a virtual card is, its characteristics, usage, and how to actually have one.
What is a bank card, and how does it work?
A bank card allows its user to access the bank’s accounts funds for various purposes. In simple words, a bank card is directly issued for a certain account. For instance, a card can be attached to a depository account, to a line of credit, and can be loaded with funds for expenses.
Different types of cards work differently. The main common point is that they all represent the bank account type and allow you to use a card in accordance with an account type; read the next section to find out how exactly.
Notice that bank cards are not the same as bank accounts. A card exists to permit a bank client to make payments, withdraw cash, accept funds via card-to-card transfers, and check the balance in ATMs. A card itself can not exist without a bank account.
Well, a bank account, in this case, is the higher entity. Here is actually where money is kept and where the banking deal is going on, like a debit account or credit line. Bank accounts are completely functional without cards. A client can have access to a lot of financial services such as online payments, accepting funds and transferring money online, using mobile wallets, and so on.
Types of bank cards
There are a lot of bank card classifications. We listed the most common ones that represent the way by whom, how a card can be used, and which entity is the issuer.
By the financial purpose
- Debit cards. A debit card is something very familiar to any card owner and, let’s be fair, very simple to grasp. Basically, this card allows a user to spend those funds which are available on the bank account without any limit (except the online payment limit or contactless payment limit).
- Credit cards. A credit card, just like a debit card, is quite familiar to us as well. The deal is coded in its name. This card is connected to a credit limit, which is set up by an issuer. The owner can spend funds within the credit limit, and then they are obliged to return the spent amount, usually monthly. Banks normally take an interest in those cases when a client does not return the money on the due date.
- Charge cards. A charge card does not have a limit amount of money a client can spend per month like a credit card. Instead, a client can spend as much as desired, but still, surely they must return the sum by the due date.
- Prepaid cards. A prepaid card must be loaded with money that a client can spend. Unlike the debit card, which is connected directly to the bank account, a prepaid card only permits spending what is loaded onto them. In particular, this type of card is very popular for children, as parents can easily control their transactions.
By the ownership
We have a habit of thinking that bank cards belong to adults only and can be issued just for one person. But that is not the case. There are family bank accounts, and so a card for an account like this can belong to a married couple, for example.
The same thing, as we already have mentioned, with children. Parents can initiate the issuing of special cards for their kids to provide them with finance and moderate their expenses.
By the brand
- Visa → USA, Europe, Africa, Latin America
- MasterCard → Europe, Canada, Australia, Latin America
- American Express → USA, Asia
- Discover → USA
- China UnionPay → China
- JCB (Japan Credit Bureau) → Japan
By the presence
At last, and this is what all this article is about, there are physical and virtual cards. The main difference is extremely obvious. A physical card exists in the form of a plastic card. In contrast, a virtual one is stored digitally. Let’s dive into it a little bit more.
Where does a virtual card come from, and how does it differ from a physical one?
Clearly, a physical card has a prior history to a virtual one, but in the very beginning, there was a loyalty card. It was the late nineteenth century, loyalty cards were made from paper, and they allowed customers to use a monthly balance of credit which was collected by the store’s representative at the end of the month.
The banking industry needs alternatives to cash payment methods, and as many customers started to use loyalty cards, the idea was picked up very successfully by the banks.
The first bank cards were ATM cards issued by London and New York banks in the late 1960th. In the same decade, the size and material of cards were standardized to the way they look now. Later on, the magnetic stripe was introduced as a technological breakthrough, which enhanced payment security.
In the second decade of the twenty-first century, massive digitalization has begun. Such technologies as a card chip, contactless payment, digital and mobile wallets, online banking, and many more level up the banking financial services.
As a result, we have eWallets with virtual cards now. A virtual card, just like a physical one, represents an online account in the banking system. It can be the same debit, credit, prepaid, or charge. The only difference is that a virtual card does not exist in its physical form. The way a client can access it is through a mobile banking application or via a mobile wallet.
There is a fading stereotype that a virtual card can not be used in the ATM for cash withdrawal. In fact, there are ATMs that accept virtual cards just like physical ones. If so, they would have a contactless device, which could read a virtual card from the mobile device. Then a user would simply indicate the desired amount without even inputting the PIN, as mobile wallets and banking apps are already quite secure.
Benefits of the eWallet with a virtual card
Having the eWallet with a virtual card allows a client to perform all needed actions, including accepting funds and transferring money online. No matter the stereotype, a virtual card is suitable even for ATM withdrawals. So a virtual card is no less than a physical card. In fact, it is more. Let’s see how.
- Security. To use the eWallet with a virtual card is way more secure than carrying around a physical card. First of all, virtual cards are even more fraud protected than normal cards. Then, they can be set up to require an advanced authentication such as a biometric instead of the PIN. And at last, the card can not be stolen or lost as it simply does not exist in the real world. So basically, no one but you can use your virtual card.
- Convenience. If your cards are stored on a mobile device, there is no need to take a wallet with you at all. The smartphone alone will do. This is surely more secure and also more convenient to have the eWallet with a virtual card.
- Lower costs. Normally, virtual card issuing is less expensive compared to a physical card. This is kind of obvious, as there is no need to produce plastic equivalent and spend funds on shipping.
- Fast opening. A virtual card does not need to be delivered to you, so it can be activated instantly within the banking account. One click, and you are ready to assess financial services.
- Easy management. Virtual cards are easy to open, so they are easy to close and fast to reissue if needed. And unlike the plastic ones, they do not have to be tied to an expiration date that strictly.
- Better for the planet. And at last, a virtual card does not harm a planet. Just think how many plastic cards expire each year and get lost or stolen. All of them eventually end up in the infinite plastic waste on our planet. Not cool.
Digital wallet vs. mobile wallet
We have already mentioned a couple of times these two terms – digital and mobile wallet. But what exactly do they mean, how do they differ, and what’s the connection? Let’s now dive into the difference between them.
What is a digital wallet or eWallet?
An eWallet is prior to a mobile wallet term. It is any software that allows a client to store payment data such as a debit and credit card and other useful documentation like airplane boarding passes or tickets.
eWallets can be accessed from a mobile, desktop, or tablet. Users can use digital wallets to make online payments and transactions, yet eWallets do not permit in-person transactions or payments like with a physical bank card.
What is a mobile wallet?
A mobile wallet is quite similar to digital wallets in its functions. The main distinction is that a user can make contactless payments through a mobile wallet via the device. Thus, digital wallets exist mostly for storing purposes, while mobile ones are for actual payment usage.
Examples of mobile wallets can be Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. It is quite simple to use a mobile wallet. A client should just get an application and after add the payment card data.
When being in the store or in a restaurant, for example, a user should hover the device over the near-field communication purchase terminal that reassembles a sideways Wi-Fi symbol. The device is usually a smartphone but also can be a watch.
Top 6 eWallets and financial providers with virtual cards compared
There are a lot of eWallets with virtual cards currently on the market. Here we have listed the top 6 that correspond to standards of advanced functions and provide top security. Notice that each wallet is suitable for various purposes.
|eWallets with virtual cards||Virtual card||Physical card||Personal account||Business account||Merchant account||Multicurrency|
|Genome||+||Visa||+||+||+||EUR, GBP, USD|
|Payoneer||+||MasterCard||+||+||+||EUR, GBP, USD, CAD|
Which provider to choose?
To open the eWallet with a virtual card, we recommend checking out Genome. Genome allows clients to open personal, business, and merchant accounts in the EU, including Germany. The provider gives its clients the opportunity to have accounts in three currencies at the same time: EUR, GBP, and USD. All the accounts can be attached to both physical and virtual cards.
Besides that, Genome is highly secure. It does obtain all the necessary compliances, fraud protection, and advanced user identification. Users can have access to all basic financial services plus instant transfers, real-time notifications, and account levels and limits.
And there is more to it. If you plan to grow as a business and then potentially become a merchant, Genome got you. You can create all three accounts within one provider to benefit from the solid ecosystem and advanced account features. Check out Genome today.
How to order a virtual card?
- Sign up to Genome in order to open an account;
- Input your email or phone number;
- Select a personal eWallet;
- Fill in the data and pass the identity verification;
- Select issuing of the virtual card;
- Activate the card and benefit from it;
Which virtual wallet is the best?
We recommend Genome. You can open a personal, business, or private account. Personal and business accounts can have various currencies and can be attached to virtual and physical cards.
What is the safest mobile wallet?
We could say that there are three top safest mobile wallets in the world currently. They are Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Amazon Pay. Each is very secure and protected from fraud.
Which is the most famous eWallet on the market?
There are a lot of famous eWallets on the market. One of them is PayPal, for example. But fame, in fact, is not much. When choosing the eWallet with a virtual card, pay attention to the functions it provides and to security measures. We recommend Genome for opening a virtual card.
Are digital wallets better than actual ones?
A digital wallet is surely better than a physical wallet. First of all, it is way more secure, as no one can access it except the owner. Second, a digital wallet can not be lost or stolen, as it exists on the device. And al last, even if the device is stolen, the wallet on it can not be accessed and can be easily blocked from a distance by its legitimate owner.