Private sector lender YES Bank has issued 1.7 million virtual prepaid cards and claims it is the largest issuer of such cards in the world on the MasterCard platform. YES Bank started issuing virtual cards in association with FreeCharge in January to make payments across all online merchants in India.

YES Bank says that it is currently issuing 15,000 virtual cards every day. The cards see over 5,000 transactions daily with the average transaction size of Rs 350.

Virtual cards bypasses the limitations of wallet integration with merchants and allows wallet users to perform transactions at all online merchants on the MasterCard platform. FreeCharge has over 30 million users and had launched its wallet services with YES Bank in September 2015 . Recently, FreeCharge signed a deal with CCAvenue where customers will have access to over one lakh merchants of the payment gateway.

We have written to YES Bank for more details regarding the where the cards are used and whether they will be issuing cards to other wallet players as well. We will update once we hear back from them.

Paytm’s virtual cards

In December 2015, Paytm partnered with ICICI Bank to launch virtual prepaid cards which could be used by wallet users at both offline and online stores for purchases. The virtual card could be used at any retail organization which accepted Visa, MasterCard and RuPay. The partnership would also allow users to recharge their wallets at any ICICI Bank branch via cash or cheques.

How it works

– Users can log into their FreeCharge accounts and generate the virtual card, add money to it and use it for all online transactions.

– On generating the virtual card, users can select ‘credit card’ on the checkout page of the website or app, copy or type the virtual card number, validity and CVV, after which an OTP will be sent for transaction verification on the registered mobile number.

– Entering the OTP completes the transaction.