With an improvement in technology, there has also been an improvement in payment systems. Companies are adopting safe and secure payment processes that maintain the privacy of their customers. Virtual account numbers help to secure virtual bank account holders’ information.
What is Virtual Account Number (VAN)
Virtual Account Number (VAN) is not much different from a virtual credit card number. They work the same way. A Virtual Account Number is a 16 digit number created every time you make a transaction. It prevents your account number and details from appearing on the recipient’s and merchant’s end. Therefore, every time you make a transaction, the virtual account number will appear instead of the real account number.
A virtual account number is different from a virtual bank routing number. You get a virtual bank routing number in addition to your virtual bank account number to facilitate your transactions.
How Virtual Account Number Works
A virtual account number is linked to a bank account. A virtual account number is generated when you initiate a transaction using your original deposit account.
The virtual account number is safe and secure since hackers cannot access your account. For instance, with a credit card number, hackers can use it to make purchases until you realize the fraud. As such, the virtual account number ensures that your credit card account is safe from hackers.
The virtual account number is automatically generated on every particular transaction. It is useful only for a specific transaction. However, you can use a program to set the maximum amount you can spend at a particular time. This implies that you can use the number for a set period.
For this to work, you need to use an app such as Google Pay. For those who wish to use a browser, they need to download a browser extension. With that, anytime you want to make a transaction, you will need to key in a username and password. A temporary account number will be generated by the issuing bank that works the same way as a credit card number.
How to Get a Virtual Account Number
To get a virtual account number, you need to get a bank or credit card issuer offering the service. There are only a few credit card issuers offering virtual account numbers. Among them are Capital One, and Citibank. Bank of America offers virtual account numbers.
For those using Capital One’s credit cards, the service is available for all credit cards. You can use Eno® assistant to credit a virtual credit number. To do you, you need to use a computer and have an Eno® extension for your particular browser.
Some selected Citi Rewards Card can access virtual credit numbers. If you qualify to get a virtual credit card number, the process is simple and straightforward. You need to register your Citi credit card in the program. You can then generate a virtual credit card using an online interface.
Advantages of Virtual Account Numbers
Virtual account numbers are essential for safe and secure transactions. They reduced the chances for fraud for credit card payments. Providing a merchant with your credit card details like credit card number and security code increases the chances of him using it to make his personal purchases or their system can get hacked.
It is safer to buy from large and established stores like Wal-Mart compared to small and new stores. However, there are still some risks associated with it. This necessitates the use of virtual account numbers for transactions.
Most global merchants’ store their data in a single database. This is not safe and it is always a target for hackers. This leaves credit cardholder information at the risk of hackers. As such, it is crucial to have a virtual account number for transactions while the banks retain your real account numbers. It is not 100 percent safe, but it provides increased security for your banking data.
Downsides of Virtual Account Numbers
While it is safer to use virtual account numbers for transactions, it also comes with a few downsides. They include:
VANs only work online and they may not be of use to customers who do not shop online. It is because it does not affect transactions where credit cards are present.
Getting a refund after using virtual account numbers can take a lot of time and effort. It is because a credit card number is not present to get a refund. Merchants have a hard time when they have to make refunds for payments made using virtual account numbers. Such refunds attract a chargeback.
There are issues with verification. Sometimes, online payments may require one to have a physical credit card. Some stores may want to verify the same details appearing on their end to be the ones on the credit card. This may cause issues since virtual account numbers are randomly generated and are not present on credit cards.
Final Thoughts on Virtual Account Number
If you want enhanced security for your online transactions, you should consider making your transactions using a virtual account number. It is safer to use a virtual account number. However, there are a few disadvantages such as the one outlined above. To get a virtual account number, you can use credit card providers such as Bank of America or apps such as Google Pay.