What is a virtual card and why does my business need one?

Anna Meehan

At Equals Money, we want to make money movement as simple as possible. With a virtual card, you can enable greater convenience, security, and visibility over transactions and make sure you're staying on top of business expenses. 

Equals Money has a range of options being rolled out for all your business needs - get in touch today to see how we can help make spending simple for your business.

Book a demo

What is a virtual card? 

A virtual card is a digital version of a plastic or metal payment card you might have in your wallet, such as a debit card or credit card. The card can take a few forms: one for individual transactions such as in-person purchases, one attached to a specific balance and shared amongst members of a company for things like online subscriptions and software, or one created for a single use that becomes void after the purchase it was created for. It’s easier for you and your business to generate multiple virtual cards than to rely on one physical card. It’s also easier to reconcile expenses with one card per retailer; you only need to change card details for one merchant if the card is compromised; and subscriptions are under control with limits and pausing to prevent unexpected expenditure.

What are the benefits? 

Getting a virtual card comes with a number of benefits both for you and your business.

Benefits for you 

For one, it’s more convenient, with the ability to start spending straight away from when it’s issued. It’s also more secure, with the ability to see purchases as they happen, pause or block the card if you’re worried it’s been compromised, and block cards that have been created for specific services without affecting all your subscriptions. 

Benefits for your business

If you’re running a business, employees can take spending into their own hands. You can monitor their spending by watching their transactions in real time, and team members can make purchases themselves without dragging you down in unnecessary admin. You can also generate a virtual card with a specific use-case for your company: for example, you can have one specifically to use for ad spend that draws from your marketing department budget. Spending has clear purposes and limits, giving you total control of your business expenses. 

What’s the difference between a physical, virtual, and disposable card?

A virtual card works the same as a physical card you keep in your physical wallet: you have the same card number and information, but it’s stored on your device instead. A disposable card is a virtual card that can only be used once. Different details are generated for every disposable card and can’t be used multiple times.

Virtual card offerings from Equals Money

There are two kinds of virtual cards available from Equals Money.

The first kind of virtual card available now is a Shared card. With a Shared card, you can create a card that’s attached to a particular balance in your Equals Money account. This way, you can create a different card for each online merchant you use: for example, you can create a virtual card to pay for Google Ads. You can set limits on transaction values to ensure you have control over your spending. Shared cards aren’t issued to a specific person - instead, they’re registered to your business.

The second kind of virtual card coming soon from Equals Money is an Individual card. Individual cards can be assigned to specific individuals and used for device or online purchases. You can control them in much the same way you can already control prepaid company cards from Equals Money and get a physical version to use alongside your virtual card if you’d like. Monitor transactions in real time, pause and block cards, and add new users in seconds.

Depending on the size or responsibilities of your team, you can sign up for either Shared cards or Individual cards or both. Whatever you need a virtual card for, Equals Money has you covered.

Five reasons why your business needs a virtual card


A virtual card makes spending a lot more convenient. You don’t need to worry about bringing your wallet everywhere or waiting to receive and activate the card before you can use it. In the case of an Individual card, they’re ready to use right away all from your smartphone or other device. You can also make quicker online purchases by allowing trustworthy websites to remember your information - no need to input your card number every time.

In the case of a Shared card, you don’t need to constantly top up subscriptions or keep track of recurring online purchases. You can set up payments once with your shared card and never worry about it again. Additionally, your whole team can access shared cards for every budget so you don’t have to mix budgets on individual cards. You can create one Shared card for one purpose: for example, you can create one per subscription you have. 


Secondly, a virtual card adds an additional level of security to your business spending. A card requires a passcode or fingerprint to complete a transaction and notifies the cardholder after every successful purchase. On top of that, users can pause their virtual card immediately from their device in the event of suspicious activity. A virtual card also decreases the amount of PII, or personally identifiable information, transferred with a transaction. In case of a data breach, hackers can’t use your card number or personal information to spend money.


In addition to convenience and security, a virtual card offers your business visibility and control over spending habits. It’s easy to activate, block, and order new cards, all from one place. Plus, you can see all transactions immediately, as they happen. There’s no need to worry about losing track of cards or spending within your company. If you have an employee who can’t stop losing their physical card, get them a virtual card. It’s impossible for them to lose, and you can watch their spending as it happens. With a centralised system, you’ll also know the status of every virtual card issued within your business.


Another reason for getting a virtual card for your business is the ability to issue them quickly and start spending as soon as you have them. With a physical card, you have to wait the 3-5 business days it takes for it to arrive before you can start spending. If you’re a dynamic and growing business, you want to get cards for your team members as quickly as possible, which is made more difficult with frequent new starters. You want every team member to start taking spending into their own hands as soon as possible.


One more reason your company needs a virtual card is its positive environmental impact. With a virtual card, you don’t have to issue a plastic card to go alongside it. This means you can cut down the amount of plastic your business relies on.

Your business needs a virtual card, whether it’s Individual cards for employees, a Shared card for specific budgets, or both. They’re more convenient and secure; they give you better visibility and control over spending habits; you can activate them quickly; and they’re better for the environment. Sign up for a virtual card with Equals Money today.

How do I use my virtual card?

Using your virtual card couldn’t be easier. If you’re using your own individual card, all you have to do is download the card onto the wallet of your smartphone, smart watch, or other device and set it up - you’re ready to use it and start spending instantly. In person, scan or tap your device at the till to pay. You can also make purchases online using your virtual card without having to constantly re-enter your card information.

When using a virtual card that links to a shared balance, like Shared cards from Equals Money, you can pay for things like ad subscriptions automatically. All you need to do is input your information once, and it’s all set up.

Why do I need a virtual card with Equals Money?

Making money management simple is our mission. We understand that running your own business is hard. Even harder than running a business is growing it. If you own a business of any size, chances are you don’t have the time to spend managing your finances when you could be working on growing your business. Streamlining expense management with company cards and an easy-to-use online platform is just one of the ways we help you focus on growing your business.

Virtual cards make it more convenient and more secure to keep track of spending for your business, whether that’s monitoring the individual spending of employees or setting up recurring payments for subscriptions for your business.

Getting a virtual card with Equals Money combines the enhanced money management capabilities of a company virtual card with the existing benefits of an Equals Money account.

How do I sign up for a virtual card with Equals Money?

Signing up for a virtual card with Equals Money couldn’t be easier. Once you have your card, you’ll be able to start spending straight away.

Book a demo

Expert insights on demand

Sign up to our daily market reports to get the latest news and insights on worldwide currency movements straight to your inbox every morning.

Enter your email address below to subscribe.