Mar 10, 2021

Four benefits of virtual cards

Hydrogen
virtualcards
Digitalpayments
cards
Hydrogen
3 min
Four benefits of virtual cards
Unlike physical cards, virtual cards have many innovative features that create a safe, convenient, and more controlled spending experience for users...

Virtual credit and debit cards are modern alternatives for safe and simple spending. These mobile payment solutions allow users to spend money from their phones instead of using a physical card. Virtual cards are particularly popular with financial service companies looking to gain competitive traction in the industry. However, they also benefit businesses in unrelated fields.

Unlike physical cards, virtual cards have many innovative features that create a safe, convenient, and more controlled spending experience for users. Whether you’re a small business owner, a fintech startup, or a finance executive, you’ll love the benefits of virtual cards. 

Experience the advantages of virtual cards

Virtual cards come with many unique benefits that you can’t get with standard credit or debit cards. These mobile spending solutions allow users to control their finances, optimize spending, and protect company funds with ease. With numerous advantages, many companies are switching to virtual cards.

1. Convenience

One of the main draws of virtual cards is that they’re more convenient than physical cards. These solutions allow users to make quick and easy payments through their phones without the hassle of passing around a company card. You’ll also never have to search for your misplaced debit cards. 

The mobile element of virtual cards makes online shopping easier and more convenient than ever for businesses while protecting their information.

2. Fraud protection

Both physical and virtual cards are linked to your main credit or debit account, but virtual cards protect your personally identifiable information (PII) by limiting the amount shared when you make a purchase. These mobile solutions tokenize data, encrypting your account numbers and creating a randomized sequence — or token — that you can only use to make one-time payments. Because tokens minimize the PII linked to your card, they are rendered useless to hackers.

Virtual cards lack magnetic strips and visible card numbers that can be found on physical cards, making it even more difficult for unauthorized persons to infiltrate your account. Many virtual cards also require pin numbers or face scans before granting you access to your account.

If your virtual card becomes compromised, you can simply freeze your account, cutting off fraudulent activity at the source.

3. Spending controls

Virtual cards allow you to set spending limits and choose which merchants you can pay while using them. These controls ensure that your employees spend company funds wisely, and protect your account against hackers. Many virtual cards also enable cardholders to select a date they’d like to close their card or schedule it to close automatically after one payment. 

4. Subscription management

You can manage all your company’s online subscriptions through virtual cards. When you set up virtual cards for each of your subscriptions, you can easily see if a merchant overcharges you and cancel the card without changing your payment information for each vendor. With mobile cards, you can skip the hassle of cancelling a subscription by simply deleting the card entirely.

Experience the benefits of virtual cards with hydrogen cards

You can change the way your company spends money with virtual cards from Hydrogen. Our powerful card-issuing platform offers countless intelligent spending features, such as anti-fraud alerts, spending limits, and integration for the most positive payment experience.

Sign up to begin issuing your company cards with Hydrogen today.

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Jul 29, 2021

BIS and MAS publish blueprint for cross-border payment idea

Fintech
BIS
MAS
transfers
2 min
The Bank for International Settlements and the Monetary Authority of Singapore have published a blueprint for real-time payment systems across borders

The Bank for International Settlements and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has published a proposed blueprint for the multilateral linking of domestic real-time payment systems across borders.

The blueprint, titled Project Nexus, outlines how countries can fully integrate their retail payment systems onto a single cross-border network, allowing customers to make cross-border transfers instantly and securely via their mobile phones or internet devices. 

The Nexus blueprint was developed through consultation with multiple central banks and financial institutions across the globe. It builds on the bilateral linkage between Singapore's PayNow and Thailand's PromptPay, launched in April 2021, and benefits from the experience of the National Payments Corporation of India's (NPCI) development and operation of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system.

The Nexus blueprint comprises two main elements: 

  • Nexus Gateways, to be developed and implemented by the operators of participating countries' national payment systems, will serve to coordinate compliance, foreign exchange conversion, message translation and the sequencing of payments among all participants. These gateways will be predicated on a common set of technical standards, functionalities and operational guidelines set out within the proposal. 
  • An overarching Nexus Scheme that sets out the governance framework and rulebook for participating retail payment systems, banks and payment service providers to coordinate and effect cross-border payments through the network. 

“To achieve significant cost-reduction in cross-border payment transfers, enhancements must be made on two fronts: direct connectivity between domestic faster payment systems, and frictionless foreign exchange on shared common wholesale settlement infrastructures. The BIS Innovation Hub Singapore Centre is working on both. The Nexus project maps out a much-needed set of standards to achieve seamless cross-border payment systems connectivity.” said Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, MAS.

 

How do cross-border payments work?

 

Cross-border payments are currency transactions between people or businesses that are in different countries. The sender will choose a front-end provider, such as a bank or a money transfer operator (e.g. Transferwise), to initiate the payment. The receiver then receives the payment via the medium specified by the sender. Traditionally, cross-border payments flow via the correspondent banking network (CBN) which most front-end providers use to settle the payment. But, in recent years, new back-end networks emerged to optimise cross-border payments and enable interoperability between payment methods and provide senders with more possibilities to reach the receiver.

The increased international mobility of goods, services, capital, and people have contributed to the growing economic importance of cross-border payments. The value of cross-border payments is estimated to increase from almost $150 trillion in 2017 to over $250 trillion by 2027, equating to a rise of over $100 trillion in just 10 years.

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