Virtual credit cards in France, 2020

By banqo.fr

Updated on: 24 Jun 2020

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Did you ever fear for your online transaction? Do you, your friends or family have ever been the victim of a fraudulent transaction on the Internet?

The virtual credit card appears to be the right answer of the banking system in permanent search for solutions to secure the online transactions. The nice thing about it is that 1) it works as a traditional credit card, without being a credit card, 2) it has the main characteristics of the debit card and 3) you can use it in on-line transaction, but not for the off-line transactions, in shops.

What is the virtual credit card?

The virtual credit card is meant to secure further your online transactions. For instance, if you have an account with a commercial bank it may very well be linked to a credit or debit card. This card has your name on it, a unique identification number of 16 digits, an expiration date and potentially a security number of 3 digits, all what you need to provide each time you make an online payment.

Studies show that fraudulent transactions in the online world tripled since 2017. For instance, say a user who undertook an online transaction gave or even saved the credentials of his/her card with an online shop. Later, because of some security breach in the shop's systems, criminals may have stolen the card's credentials and use them elsewhere online of offline. Although less encountered, fraudulent offline transactions are yet possible, as criminals may use more and more sophisticated methods such as card cloning or card skimming.

See prepaid credit cards in France

How does the virtual credit card work?

The virtual credit card aims at overcoming the very limits of the traditional card payment system, that is, static information in the form of card's four credentials being given to the shop, in order to identify the user and sign for the transaction. The virtual credit card replaces the static information with dynamic information, which is only available to the payment system and to which the shop does not have access.

The user has still access to a card which has traditional means for identification, but for the very transaction, the system generates in the background payment credentials similar to the card's, but which are unique for each transaction. Therefore, the payment is not undertaken via the credentials of the card, but via different credentials, generated each time the users wants to pay online. On top, they are valid only for that specific transaction. These unique credentials are either generated automatically at each transaction by the payment system, or a specific application can be used at this aim. The transaction is made only with the means available in the user's account.

The advantages of a virtual credit card?

The main advantage of the virtual credit card is that the online transactions are more secured. The unique credentials of the payment are not available to the shop and therefore not to potential criminals, who might break the shop's security systems.

The second advantage is that the card woks as a debit card, hence you never can expect to go negative on your finances.

The disadvantages of a virtual credit card?

The main disadvantage is that for the time being the virtual credit card works only in the online environment and cannot be used in real life.

Based on your shopping behaviour, you may want to have extensive credit for your shopping. This should be the case, this card is not for you, as it works as a debit card and does not have an overdraft facility.

For whom the virtual credit card is made for?

If you are someone who shops online a great deal and somewhat feels unsecured because of you don't know where the information of your card can go, this card is for you. It offers you an additional security level for your online transactions, so you make your shopping in tranquillity.

If you are a finance conscious person this card is for you, as you can't spend more than you have on your account.

If you are parent and want to offer a secured card to your kid, this card if for him. Not only, your kid cannot spend more that there is in the account, but he/she can pay online for their games, clothes or shoes securely.


The virtual credit card is the perfect product for the users in search for an additional layer of security for their online payments. On top, with this card you can pay only with your resources, which may make you a conscious consumer.

See prepaid credit cards in France

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