Slideshow 8 Virtual Cards that Solve Real Problems for Google and Others

Published
  • August 05 2012, 3:49pm EDT

(Image: ThinkStock)

Card Catalog

In Google’s case, the new version of its mobile wallet uses a prepaid MasterCard account that passes funds to a merchant from any linked credit or debit card. For Google, this overcomes the company’s problem with getting banks to load their cards directly to its app.(Image: Bloomberg News)

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Safer Shopping

For many years, PIN use online was problematic for electronic funds transfer networks. NYCE’s SafeDebit creates virtual debit card information for one-time use online — no PIN is needed. (Image:

Health Care

In June, PaySpan Inc. began using Wright Express’ virtual MasterCards as a more convenient and easier way to support health-care claims reimbursements. (Image: ShutterStock)

Stopping Fraud

The State Bank of India Ltd. in May launched a virtual Visa debit card that is meant to give fraudsters a hard time. The issuer uses a new account number for each transaction, and that number expires within two days. (Image: ShutterStock)

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The Underbanked

The MasterCard Mobile Money Partnership program uses virtual card accounts to serve underbanked mobile-phone users in emerging markets in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and South America. (Image: ShutterStock)

Going Mobile

MasterCard in 2009 introduced virtual prepaid cards in India tied to mobile phones. People may use them as meal cards and as disbursement systems for small loans or social benefits. (Image: ShutterStock)

Modernizing Gift Cards

Yespay International Ltd. and subsidiary Yes-wallet.com Ltd. this year launched the Pouch digital wallet, the first to use Near Field Communication-enabled smartphones to serve as a virtual merchant prepaid gift card.

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Having It Your Way

Burger King Corp. in June launched a mobile-payment pilot with Firethorn Mobile LLC in 50 Burger King restaurants in and around Salt Lake City. The system features the BK Mobile Crown Card, a virtual prepaid card.(Image: Bloomberg News)