Virtual cards

Virtual cards work exactly like your physical bank card—they just live in your digital wallet on your phone instead of your physical wallet. Secured by encryption, they offer a safe and convenient way to pay online and in-store.

Image of N26 app with a virtual card.
Customer using N26 App and buying online with a virtual card.

Virtual, digital and disposable cards—what’s the difference?

A “virtual card” is stored on your phone and can be used to pay contactless in stores or online, but has its own unique card number, expiry date, and CVC. A “digital card” is a copy of your physical bank card that’s stored on your phone. Digital cards have the same card number, expiry date, and CVC as your physical bank card, and can be used with Apple Pay or Google Pay. A “disposable card” is a virtual card that can only be used once. Once you’ve paid, the card details can’t be used again.

The benefits of virtual cards

Leave your wallet at home

Virtual debit and credit cards are secure, simple to use, and save you the inconvenience of having to carry your wallet around.

Stay in control

You can instantly lock—and unlock—your virtual card from your phone at any time.

Manage subscriptions

Use a dedicated virtual card for all your recurring subscriptions, and easily lock it without losing access to your main bank card.

Instant activation

You don’t have to wait for your card to arrive in the mail—start using it from the moment it’s created.

Pay securely—online and in-store

Pay with your N26 virtual card using Apple and Google Pay, anywhere contactless payments are accepted. It's easy to use, secure, and effortlessly mobile. All N26 physical and virtual cards are tokenized before they’re added to Apple or Google Pay, which simply means that your sensitive card information is always stored securely.

Security you can count on

Instant push notifications

Pair your N26 account to your smartphone and get real-time alerts on all account activity, ensuring that only you have access to your money.

Your money, your settings

Instantly turn on or turn off online payments, ATM withdrawals, payments abroad, and more in your N26 app.

Advanced 3D Secure

Benefit from extra security against fraud, thanks to a two-factor authentication step that protects your online purchases.

Protected up to €100,000

Thanks to our full banking license, the funds in your N26 account are protected up to €100,000 by the German Deposit Protection Scheme.

Get an extra virtual card—for free

N26 premium customers get a free second virtual card with its own card number. Shopping online? Enjoy extra peace of mind by not having to share your main card’s details. Paying in-store? Tap and go by adding your virtual card to Apple Pay or Google Pay.

FAQs

What is a virtual debit card?

A virtual debit card is exactly like a physical debit card, just in digital form. You can use it for online purchases or add it to Apple Pay or Google Pay for secure, contactless in-store purchases.

Where can I use a virtual card?

A virtual debit card can be used just like you would use a physical bank card. In addition to online purchases, you can use a virtual card for contactless payments in stores by adding it to Apple Pay or Google Pay. Some even allow you to withdraw money from ATMs.

Are virtual cards safe to use?

All virtual debit cards should be electronically encrypted to protect you from banking fraud. With N26, all our cards are enabled with Mastercard 3D Secure, which verifies your identity with two-factor authentication when making online payments.

How to get a virtual card with N26?

To add a virtual card to your N26 account, go to the Cards tab in your N26 app and tap 'Get an additional card'. Select 'Virtual' and tap 'Choose', then agree to the terms and conditions and tap 'Generate virtual card'.

What’s the difference between a virtual card and a virtual prepaid debit card?

A prepaid debit card is not linked to a bank account. Once you run out of money on the card, you need to top it up with additional funds. In contrast, a virtual card is linked to your bank account and can be used just like a normal debit card.

What’s the difference between a virtual card and a digital card?

When a virtual card has the same number as your physical bank card, it’s often referred to as a digital card—because it’s a digital version of your physical card. “Virtual card” usually refers to a card that only exists in digital form and is not linked to any physical card.

How many virtual cards can I add to my N26 account?

All N26 premium accounts let you add a digital version of your physical N26 debit Mastercard to your digital wallet. Premium members can also add a second virtual card to their accounts. Your extra virtual card has its own card number and can be locked without affecting your main card.