TechVise has once again dived into helping out international shoppers and this time we are focusing on international virtual prepaid cards and prepaid debit cards only. For International money transfers/withdrawal services take a look at our post on Global Payments solutions which offer seamless withdrawals via banks & allow you to get paid internationally.
The concept of online shopping has increased by many folds in the recent years, and it is an integral part of the global economy. Many people, though, still cannot shop online due to restrictions placed on them based on their location. Namely, many people cannot order products from certain websites because their country is not supported by that site’s shipping services, or perhaps their bank still does not support online payments.
We have already covered in detail how one can get a parcel forwarding address in order to get the items anywhere in the world but now its time to focus on a payment solution to go with your new address.
Virtual debit cards and Virtual Prepaid Cards are becoming a necessity in the online marketplace. The internet has many dangers including scam virtual debit card sites such as Cliffscard and Safepay. Below is a list (in no particular order) of the best virtual debit card services out there and what they have to offer.
How Virtual Prepaid Cards Work
Virtual prepaid card providers offer prepaid cards that can be accepted globally. Once you sign up with these services, you have to go through a verification process.
Getting verified is not very difficult or lengthy especially if you have your scanner nearby. They ask for certain documents to verify if you are indeed a registered citizen of this world with a valid residential address, contact number and a bank account sans fraudulent activity or not.
Once the documents are verified, you are a free to use your own money via their virtual debit cards. How? Well you simply have to upload your funds via their allowed methods which can be local bank transfer, local Credit/Debit card or PayPal etc. and then wait for the money to get topped up in your card.
After that you can use your virtual prepaid card on any website to purchase anything.
Best Virtual Prepaid Cards
US Unlocked is the only service out there for international shoppers who wish to shop on US Stores. They give two types of virtual cards, Merchant specific and one-time use cards. Merchant specific cards are tied to the US store they are first used on. Whereas, the one-time use cards are highly secure as the card closes 2 mins after the first use. These are best for websites you don’t plan on shopping again and/or when you’re concerned about the security of your purchase.
How does USUnlocked work? Well they need some basic info from your end along with a US shipping address from one of their partnered services. You can read about most of these here. You then need to load your account and pay the one time account activation fee of $15. There is also an account loading fee that is given here. You can load your US Unlocked account via (local) bank transfers, ACH, Ideal, Sofort, Yandex, Boleto, WeChat Pay, and Alipay. Other fees include a $3.5/month account maintenance fee (if you have a balance) and a $0.5 per transaction fee. If you want to read more about the card, check our review of US Unlocked
Powered by Paysafe, If you have a Skrill account, then all you need is to be a resident in Europe to get a prepaid virtual MasterCard. Skrill allows you to shop anywhere online, pay bills, receive or send money and purchase crypto currency.
Skrill virtual prepaid MasterCard is globally accepted, allowing you to use your funds online wherever MasterCard is accepted. It can be used with different currencies, for instance USD, EUR, GBP, or PLN. You can use your Skrill card as long as you have a positive account balance.
If you’re already a Skrill user, you can get the card within minutes. The first virtual card is free and after that there is a €2.5 fee. There is no annual service fee.
EzzoCard is unlike any other card on this list because it is also an international virtual visa gift card. These are issued globally and available in 2 currencies; USD and CAN. You pay for an EzzoCard anonymously via cryptocurrency, PerfectMoney, Webmoney etc. with zero verification checks. The USD card issued can be used from 6 (Green card) to 12 months (Blue card). All you need to do is register the card the first time before use. After this, you can use it anywhere online. To use a different address, you need to login via your card number and pin to update the address.
All virtual cards issued by them support AVS and can be used with any US or international address. Canadian cards can only work with Canadian address so make sure you enter a valid billing address.
Buying a card takes about 5 – 30 minutes depending on the method you’ve have chosen. The details for the types of payment is available on their website on this section How To Pay. The Virtual Visa Card cannot be loaded but can be purchased again in different denominations again.
Ezzo Card can also be used as a virtual visa gift card for your loved ones. It makes shopping easier as it lets you use the card at any website, online merchants, and web stores over the internet where payments by prepaid cards are accepted. You can also use it to verify PayPal identity. The virtual card is can be used anywhere Visa and MasterCard cards are accepted.
Have you heard of TransferWise? Its a payment transfer solution that is famous for low fee and quick remittances. We reviewed it because we love it too much! And guess what, they give a MasterCard connected to their payment account! Our special link gives you a gift…Zahra – tech-vise.com
Powered by iCard Services AD, the fundamental difference between LeoPay and other services on this list are ‘cards’. That’s right, plural – cards! When you sign up for a LeoPay, you will need to go through the regular KYC which is quite simple and fairly quick (in my case at least) and then you will actually receive two cards for free! This is an excellent method to get verified as well because the VISA cards will need to reach you at your address. You can choose to have separate names (of family members maybe) and different currencies. You can open LeoPay account in any of the 10 currencies offered. Unfortunately, LeoPay is available to EU residents only.
They don’t offer virtual prepaid cards, but plastic VISA cards with enabled chip. You can have up to five cards per LeoPay account, making this a perfect solution for the whole family. You can change access to each card through LeoPay website and/or mobile app (iOS/Android). There’s an option to lock cards, enable/disable POS, ATM or internet transactions. You can also put spending limits, and get SMS or email notifications for every transaction.
Spending via LeoPay is stress-free whether you are buying something online or in stores. Uploading money to LeoPay card/account is free for EU and 2% of others. For me, that was the selling point.
Known as Masked Card, Blur is a payment solution product of Abine.
They allow you to make a virtual card and use it for your personal expenditures. It currently offers these services to USA residents only and on US merchants / online stores. They use AVS to verify cards hence they may roll out this feature to other countries very soon as well.
To use Blur all you have to do is sign up online with the details they require. As privacy is one of the most important concerns for you, they’ve made it easy by not revealing any personal information while shopping online.
You can use Blur anywhere, for buying a BBQ grill to buying gadgets without giving any of your real card number or any additional information. You can also buy prepaid gift cards and use that number instead of your own.
They allow you to store your information which allows you to shop more efficiently at any online store. The best part about this service helps you to identify any theft. Blur premium costs $39 USD/year or $99/year for Blur unlimited.
Ecopayz is the creator of the Eco Virtual Card. This service is a bit different. The ecoVirtualcard is designed for safe, one-time payments online. It can be created instantly in the “ecoVirtualcard” section of your ecoAccount. As soon as you perform a successful purchase with your ecoVirtualcard, the card is automatically cancelled. This ensures that your card details can never be stolen or misused. Once the purchase has been made, you can create a new ecoVirtualcard and continue your shopping.
Creating a new Virtual card is free but is limited to the account type you own or have opened with Ecopayz. Should you like to make repeating payments or purchases with merchants that require card verification first, you can always use their EcoCard Payment card. The cool thing about Eco Virtual Card is that it is compatible with several currencies like Euro, GBP and USD. Also, unlike some cards, Eco Virtual Card is accepted pretty much everywhere, wherever MasterCard® is accepted anyway.
One key thing you need to keep in mind is that you must upgrade to a Silver ecoAccount before you can apply for an ecoVirtualcard, which is done by verifying your identity and address. It is easily one of the most internationally friendly services out there, and is definitely one of the top providers on this list.
Sometimes it is just better to go with one of the industry giants. Visa has been in the credit business for a long time, so they know how to make a quality and secure product. It works just like any other virtual debit card and Visa product. The big downside to it though is that it requires an RBC bank account, which may be an issue for international users. If you’re a Canadian resident, however, this is more than likely the most sensible option.
A whole list of VISA cards can be seen on our feature covering Gift Cards. If you have trouble with address and phone number, I suggest you get a package forwarding address for that country and inserting it at checkout point.
And that’s it!
If you are aware of any other good virtual prepaid card service which is free or super awesome, let us know in the comments below so we can review them and maybe even put them up here as an addition ????