How to Use an Instant Virtual Debit Card for Large Business Purchases
An instant virtual debit card protects your business from fraud and makes it easier to control spending. Here's how to get your very own from ClearSpend.
Any time you type your credit or debit card number into a website, pay an invoice, or share your info for an ACH transfer, your money is at risk.
In fact, more than 4 million stolen credit and debit card numbers are for sale on the dark web for the low, low price of about $10 each. If your debit or credit card is in the mix, your entire business could be at risk. 😱
Even worse, if your debit card info is stolen, you might not be able to get that money back. Which is why virtual debit cards for business are handy.
What is an instant virtual debit card?
An instant virtual debit card is a virtual payment card (i.e., not physical) funded by your business bank account that uses credit card numbers generated for one-time use. They can help protect your business account from fraud when making online or in-person purchases. Even better, they're free from ClearSpend.
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How do instant virtual debit cards work?
Virtual debit cards are funded from your business bank account and use a new, instantly generated card number. It's not directly connected to your main business debit card and doesn't use any previously existing card numbers. The card can be pre-funded for the exact amount, used to make the purchase it was created for, and that’s the end of it. If someone steals that card info after the purchase is made, they get nothing—because there is no money to steal.
What's the difference between instant virtual debit cards and instant virtual credit cards?
The most obvious difference between instant virtual debit cards and instant virtual credit cards is how they're funded. A virtual debit card is funded directly from your bank account, so there's no way to go over budget—and no bill to pay.
Instant virtual credit cards also use randomly generated credit card numbers, which also protect your credit card from fraud. But you still have to pay the bill at the end of the month.
There are several benefits of using an instant virtual debit card over an instant virtual credit card, including:
- No credit check for a virtual debit card
- No interest payments, since it's funded from your actual bank account
- Easy to generate (just a few taps in your ClearSpend dashboard.)
How to use an instant virtual debit card for large purchases
Instant virtual debit cards can be used for just about any purpose. Wanna buy an 11-foot dinosaur for the office? You can do that. Looking to purchase a lead generation tool? That's less fun but you can do that, too.
There are several practical applications for this type of card, namely to make large, one-time purchases, such as paying a specific vendor for services or software. Instead of using ACH and sharing your bank account details, or giving them your normal credit card info, ClearSpend lets you create a virtual debit card specifically for that purchase.(Not saying you don’t trust them, but…ya know.)
Our CTO, Utkarsh Agarwal, recently used one to make a purchase for ClearSpend.
“ClearSpend needed to pay a vendor $25K. Their preferred payment method was ACH, but we didn't want to share our banking details with them. The other alternative was card pre-authorization but that required our CFO, Chris, to sign an authorization form granting the vendor permission to use our card and share our card details on a paper with them. This opens up the door for them charging us inappropriately in the future or worse them getting hacked and having our corporate card stolen. Using ClearSpend, we issued a virtual debit card pre-funded with the exact amount we needed to pay and shared those card details with the vendor. Once the card was used, we disabled the card in the ClearSpend dashboard. Now, we no longer have to worry about the details getting stolen or misused. "
How to get (and use) an instant virtual debit card from ClearSpend
Before you get started, you'll need two drops oil of boil, a dead man's toe, a dab of newt saliva, and a dash of pox. No, not really. Actually, generating an instant virtual debit card only takes a few minutes with ClearSpend. Here's how:
- Sign up for a free ClearSpend account. All you need is an EIN number and an U.S. bank account to qualify.
- Fund Your ClearSpend account from your business bank account.
- Generate your new card and assign it to yourself or a trusted employee.
- Load the exact amount of funds you need to make the purchase onto the card.
- Copy and paste your card numbers from ClearSpend and make your payment.
- Deactivate the card in ClearSpend (Technically you don’t have to since the card will have a $0 balance, but hey why not?)
That's it. Simple, easy, and it protects your money and your sanity when making large business purchases from vendors you may or may not trust (either way, you’re protected).