Virtual Cards: A Start-Up’s Secret Weapon

December 23, 2021

Many new companies still work with traditional payment systems like petty cash or company-wide credit cards.

If that’s true for your company, you will have noticed these systems are very time-consuming. Hence, they are costly for your business.  

Virtual company cards are the solution.

What is a virtual card? 

A virtual card is a payment card stored on your phone, tablet or computer.

There are two types: Virtual credit cards and virtual debit cards. Apart from a few minor differences, they are the same as physical bank cards. 

For example, they can be used wherever credit or debit cards are accepted. And of course, you can make online payments with them since they have a 16-digit card number, CVV and expiry date.

Both banks and payment service providers, like Aspire, issue virtual cards. 

Virtual cards are still quite new but they come with many benefits traditional company cards simply don't offer.

What can you do with a virtual card?

Virtual cards are very useful for growing businesses. If you give your employees virtual company cards, they can always make their own payments while you stay in control of spending limits.

Moreover, you’ll have visibility on every transaction from a single dashboard, making it easy to trace payments.

As a result, you’ll always be in control of your overall expenses. And if there’s any suspicion of illicit card activity, you can freeze or cancel the card right away.

Benefits of virtual company cards

Benefit 1: Fewer cards in your wallet

No one needs more cards in their wallet. With virtual cards, you can always pay promptly via linked digital devices.

Benefit 2: Better for the environment

The amount of plastic used to produce banking cards every year is equivalent to the weight of 150 Boeing 747s. Let that sink in. Switch to virtual cards to reduce plastic pollution and postal delivery.

Benefit 3: Almost-instant activation

The paperwork involved in obtaining virtual prepaid cards is often minimal compared to credit and debit card applications. Since the approval process is swift and you don’t need to wait for the postal delivery, you can start almost immediately.

Benefit 4: Increased security

Virtual credit and debit cards are a safer alternative to physical cards. They only exist digitally, removing the risk of misplaced or lost cards. 

Benefit 5: Ease of use

With the power of a virtual card, you’re able to make secure payments the same way as a physical or debit card一without the hassle of bringing along your wallet. This is because virtual cards share the same features as a typical card, such as a unique 16-digit number, CVV and an expiry date. For effortless payments, simply add your Aspire card to Apple Pay or Google Pay.

How Aspire virtual cards bring value to your business

Aspire’s virtual cards are created for start-ups and small businesses with multiple costs from all sorts of angles. Think online advertising, SaaS subscriptions, overseas purchases and so on.

At this stage, early-stage founders are likely to look up corporate card options from banks to manage future payments. But virtual company cards are often a better option. 

Benefit 1: Save on international payments

It's common for banks to mark up exchange rates to earn a commission from transactions between different currencies. 

With Aspire, your transactions happen at the mid-market rate, without any additional mark-up.

Moreover, you can make overseas transactions in over 50 currencies at consistently lower rates, with upfront clarity about any extra fees.

Benefit 2: Earn cashback

You can earn 1% cashback on digital marketing and some of the most popular SaaS subscriptions. 

Benefit 3: Integrate with your existing software

All your virtual card transactions can be automatically synced with your accounting software, saving precious time for more productive tasks.

Benefit 4: Stay in control of spending

Set up different spending limits for each card and update them anytime. See all transactions in real-time from a single dashboard and freeze any card on the spot if necessary.

Benefit 5: Issue unlimited cards

Sign up and order an unlimited number of virtual cards for your team. No hidden costs.


How do I create a virtual card?

With Aspire, all you need to do is sign up for a free business account and order the required number of virtual cards for your employees. 

How do I use a virtual card?

You use it the exact same way as a physical credit or debit card. All virtual cards come with unique 16-digit numbers, CVV and expiry dates. Enter these details for online transactions. Alternatively, you can connect your virtual card to Google Pay to pay in stores.

Is a virtual card safe?

Virtual cards are designed to protect you from the typical vulnerabilities of a physical card.

  1. Your issued virtual card number is different from your credit or debit card number. Therefore, it can never be traced back to your credit or debit card accounts.
  2. Virtual cards often come paired with software that keeps track of transactions in real-time. If you detect unusual activity on your virtual card, you can cancel it on the spot and order a replacement right away.
  3. You can apply spending restrictions and expiration dates. 

What is the difference between a prepaid card and a credit card?

The primary difference between a virtual prepaid card and a virtual credit card is the payment date. With a prepaid card, you need to pay upfront. And you can spend as much as you have on your card.

With virtual credit cards, you can spend up to a certain amount, and you only pay the total sum at the end of the month. Therefore, banks will do a credit check for these cards, making them more challenging to obtain. 

How to add the Aspire card to Apple Pay?

Are you an Apple user? Sign up for an Aspire Card and bring Aspire with you wherever you go! All it takes is 5 easy steps.

Here’s how to add your Aspire card to Apple Pay: 

Step 1: Open your Aspire app 

Step 2: If you have multiple Aspire Cards, choose the Aspire Card that you wish to add to Apple Pay 

Step 3: Click on “Add to Apple Wallet” 

Step 4: Verify your card 

Step 5: Once that’s complete, you may set your Aspire card as the default card in your Apple Wallet if you wish

Voila, you’re ready to start using Aspire via Apple Pay to tap and pay! You can also check out this video guide on how to add your Aspire Card to Apple Pay.

Why virtual cards are a must-have for start-ups

With growing expenses and more outgoing transactions, business spending gets more complicated. And the risks increase.

Virtual company cards can solve these problems by making spending more accessible for all employees while adding additional control via modern software.

On top of that, payment service providers like Aspire App streamline your accounting activities with fast syncing and real-time rapports.

Bonus read: Complete Guide to Using Virtual Cards in Singapore (Downloadable)

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