August 4, 2021

How To Get an Instant Virtual Debit Card for Your Business

by Maddy Osman

Choosing the right business credit card can be challenging, especially if you plan to issue employee expense cards.

Credit cards can streamline employee purchases and vendor payments, but they, in turn, leave you at risk for credit card fraud. Each year, data breaches leave millions of credit card numbers exposed to fraud risk.

The good news is that an instant virtual debit card can solve your accounting stresses while protecting your financial information. 

In the age of the digital wallet, virtual payment cards offer several attractive business benefits.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Business Benefits of a Virtual Card
  • Choosing a Card Type
  • Getting an Instant Virtual Debit Card With Ottimate
  • Getting the Most From Your Instant Virtual Debit Card With Ottimate
  • Final Thoughts: How To Get an Instant Virtual Debit Card for Your Business

Business Benefits of a Virtual Card

Virtual payment cards (also known as digital cards or instant cards) help keep your bank account information secure while giving you insights into how your business’s money is being spent. They make it easier to record each transaction and match it to the correct category, invoice, and vendor. 

There are two purposes your accounts payable team can use a virtual payment card for: expense management and bill pay.

Expense management refers to virtual cards issued to employees for payment of smaller expenses, such as fuel or travel expenses. If you use your virtual card to pay vendor invoices, that’s bill pay. Using a virtual card for bill pay has the added benefit of letting you earn cash back on your expenses, which you can’t do if you’re paying with a check.

Extra Security

Using a physical card for business purposes can leave you vulnerable to fraud, especially in an online transaction. The reason is simple: the number on a physical card doesn’t change. Fraudsters can obtain  your card number and use it to make unauthorized transactions.

In contrast, when you use an instant virtual card to make an online payment, the card details aren’t connected to your bank information. Therefore, a hacker can’t use the number to access your bank account, or your cash. 

Streamlined Expense Tracking

Going through financial statements and matching each transaction to an invoice or receipt can give anyone a headache. With physical cards, the statements are usually lengthy monthly lists of many transactions, making the process even harder. 

You can eliminate that manual data entry with a virtual payment card and streamline your expenses with automatic receipt matching.

Ottimate instant virtual debit card receipt matching function

Increased Flexibility and Spend Control

Digital credit cards and debit cards come with features that give you control over your money. You can put a spending limit on each card or require authorization for each purchase.

So, even if an outsider accesses your card details, they may not be able to use the card details for online purchases.

Easier To Issue

Virtual cards are much easier to issue than physical cards. With only a few clicks, you can have a new payment card that’s ready to use. 

Once you’re approved, you can issue digital cards instantly, instead of waiting for a physical card to arrive in the mail. You can access your on-demand card through your card provider’s mobile app.

Choosing a Card Type

If you decide you want a virtual payment card, you can opt for a debit or credit card. While both are similar in many ways, each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Virtual Credit Card

A virtual credit card works like a physical credit card, except that the card details are stored in a card provider app or digital wallet. In this way, digital credit cards are more secure than their physical counterparts, and you can access them instantly after activation.

Virtual credit cards are also cash-flow friendly. When you spend on a line of credit from your card provider, money doesn’t leave your business account until the end of the month when you make your virtual card payment.

Still, that makes you prone to overspending, as opposed to a debit card. Nonetheless, you can set spending limits to prevent that.

Also, with a digital credit card, you’re liable for the same fees you would have with a physical card. For example, you may incur monthly fees or transaction fees, depending on your provider. 

Virtual Debit Card

For companies that don’t want to apply for a line of credit or wait to be approved for a virtual credit card, the digital debit card is an excellent alternative. You can sign up with a card provider, connect your bank account, and issue an instant virtual debit card.

For a virtual debit card, you don’t have to wait for approval or meet any stringent financial requirements.

Also, unlike your physical debit card information, your virtual debit card number can’t be traced back to your bank account. You can even set up a one-time card number that works for a single online purchase.

Getting an Instant Virtual Debit Card With Ottimate

With Ottimate’s Virtual Debit Card, you can create and issue secure business expense cards whenever you need them.

You have your choice of one-time burner cards for online shopping, subscription cards for recurring payments, and reloadable prepaid debit cards for variable expenses. (You can also order physical cards that you still control on the back end.)

To create a new instant virtual debit card with Ottimate, log in to your account and go to your dashboard.

Select Create Card on the right-hand side and then choose Virtual Card. Select the type of card you want to create and fill out the card information.

Screenshot of creating a Ottimate instant virtual debit card showing card type options in a list

With Ottimate, you can customize your instant virtual debit card in several ways:

  • Assign it to a particular employee
  • Set a spending limit
  • Configure an expiration date
  • Assign a card to a specific vendor or category
  • Require transaction authorization

By customizing each virtual card, you keep your fluctuating costs in control. In other words, you can shorten the time you spend reconciling your cards during month-end close and streamline your accounting process.

Getting the Most From Your Instant Virtual Debit Card With Ottimate

Getting a virtual debit card with Ottimate is only the beginning. The platform comes with several features that help you monitor your business’s expenses and make your accounting process manageable.

Here are a few tips to get the most out of your Ottimate virtual debit Visa cards.

Set Up Authorization Rules

If you want the ability to approve/refuse virtual payment transactions, you can set authorization rules for your digital debit card. Ottimate’s flexible authorization options let you assign the cardholder or a manager as the authorizing individual. 

Enable Transaction Notifications

You can get payment notifications in real time by setting up instant transaction notifications. Ottimate will send you an email every time someone uses the virtual card. Transaction notifications tell you how much money was spent, on what date, and with which vendor.

A screenshot of an email on a mobile device notifying of a Ottimate vCard transaction

Sync With Your Accounting Software

You can connect the Ottimate virtual Visa card to your accounting software to track your expenses. Employees can upload receipts through the mobile app, and Ottimate will automatically assign receipts to the correct transaction. 

What’s more?

Ottimate uses machine learning to automatically assign GL categories — categories based on your past transactions — to each of your expenses.

Final Thoughts: How To Get an Instant Virtual Debit Card for Your Business

Managing your cash flow is an essential skill for any business owner. With more vendors using online payments, an instant virtual debit card account helps you create an employee expense system that gives you control over where your money goes.

To learn more about how you can reduce manual data entry and simplify your month-end close, explore the Ottimate Card for business today.

Stay up to date on the latest news in AP automation and finance

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.