How Virtual Cards Work: An In-Depth Look

  • April 10, 2023
  • 3:50 min.


With card payments accounting for almost half of all transactions in the UAE, 2023 is seeing a significant shift in how we make online payments. The trend has paved the way for virtual cards, giving traditional cards a virtual facelift.

Moreover, as contactless payments become more prevalent, there will be 53 billion virtual card transactions worldwide using mobile payment methods by 2027, up from 5 billion in 2022.

As the UAE continues to embrace digital transactions, virtual cards are becoming a popular payment option for many.

So, let’s dive deep into understanding what virtual cards are and how they work with practical use cases.

What is a Virtual Card?

A virtual card is an electronic version of the classic plastic card you’ve learned and used. Thus, it’s entirely digital and accessible through a mobile app. Like its physical counterpart, it contains all the essential card information, such as:

    • Your 16-digit card number

    • Expiration date

    • CVV

A virtual card can be used for online purchases, shopping, and receiving payments. For example, with Payit’s Letsgo Payit Card, you can make hassle-free payments, avail exclusive offers, connect your card with Google Pay or Samsung Wallet, and perform all other transactions you can do with your regular credit/debit cards.

You can take advantage of the convenience and security of the mobile app, which provides features like transaction limits and card upgrades.

While certain virtual cards are only available electronically through an app, the Letsgo Payit card allows you to use them digitally and physically. It means you can also request a physical card when you don’t want to use your phone to make payments.

How to request for a digital Letsgo Payit Card | English

How Does it Work?

How does a virtual card work? It’s simple!

You will have to request a virtual card from the virtual card provider. Virtual cards are offered mainly by fintech companies and the majority of banks.

Once your request is processed after necessary approvals, you can use your card through an app. This virtual card lets you make payments by tapping your phone at the POS terminal or entering your card details for online purchases.

While 47% of UAE consumers worry that lost or stolen contactless cards may be misused, mainly because they don’t understand how the technology works (27%), virtual cards are incredibly secure.

Some may even be designed for one-time use. This means that even if a fraudster steals the information, they won’t be able to use it again since the one-time use cards expire as soon as your transaction is complete.

You may also like: Virtual cards vs Digital cards – All you need to know

Why Should You Use a Virtual Card?

Here are some reasons to start using a virtual card:

Safety and Security

About two in five users (19%) has been a victim of credit card fraud. But with the power to hide your physical card number with a temporary account number, virtual cards provide a strong layer of security.

This security feature significantly reduces the chances of your sensitive information being compromised.

Ready to Use

You can forget the hassle of activating traditional physical cards through multiple steps with virtual cards, and they’re already activated and ready to be used.

So you won’t need to wait in line at the ATM or send a message to activate your card. Instead, just hit checkout, and your transaction will be done.


You don’t need to type in your card details with every purchase. With virtual card numbers, checkout is easy, saving you time.


With virtual cards, you can stop suspicious activity with just a few taps on your mobile app. And relax knowing your funds are secure. Its banking is stress-free.

Rewards and Offers

Virtual cards also provide many offers and rewards for every use worth utilizing. For example, The Letgo Payit card has multiple offers to enrich your shopping, travel, and leisure experiences.

The Bottom Line

Virtual cards could be the answer if you’re looking for a way to keep your online purchases secure and convenient! These cards also offer a more innovative way to shop by providing a unique one-time use number that protects your card information from potential theft or fraud.

Moreover, virtual cards are quick to activate and use. They also carry the added benefit of being able to block them at a moment’s notice if any unauthorized activity is detected.

With auto-fill payment options and the rising trend of online shopping, virtual cards are the ultimate solution for stress-free and secure transactions.

The future of banking is here, and it’s virtual.

1 Comment

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