What is a virtual debit or credit card?

Virtual debit and credit cards do everything that a standard card does—they just live in your digital wallet instead of your physical one. Secured by encryption, they are safe and easy to use, making electronic payments quick and effortless.

Virtual card.

What is virtual banking?

Virtual banking is similar to in-person banking, except that everything’s done through a mobile app or website.

Payments, transfers, and other banking operations are managed digitally, with customer support available via chat or phone. Virtual banking has disrupted the finance industry, giving customers 24/7 access to online transactions, as well as digital and contactless payments in stores with a virtual debit or credit card.

What are virtual debit and credit cards?

A virtual debit or credit card is a digital alternative to a physical bank card. Also known as electronic cards, they are stored in a digital wallet via a mobile bank app. Most virtual cards can make the same transactions as standard cards, including online purchases, contactless store payments, and ATM cash withdrawals.

How do virtual cards work?

Virtual cards are just like normal cards, they’re just digital instead of physical, existing entirely on your smartphone. When you open an account, you receive a virtual debit card right in your banking app, which can then be linked to Apple Pay or Google Pay.

You can use this card number to shop online, transfer money, or make contactless payments in stores by holding your phone up to the card reader.

Some ATMs also allow you to make withdrawals via your virtual card.

A Guide to Contactless Payments.

Virtual cards benefits

Virtual debit and credit cards are secure, simple to use, and save you the stress of having to carry your wallet around. Also, they’re easy to lock right from your phone if you are worried that your account has been compromised.

They’re also available for use instantly, unlike physical cards.

With N26, you can start using your N26 debit Mastercard within a few minutes of opening an account.

Virtual card security at N26

At N26, we only allow one smartphone to be linked to any account at a time, and you need a password or fingerprint ID to access the app. All outgoing transactions must be verified by a PIN, and notifications are sent whenever a transaction is processed in real-time, so you always know what's going on.

N26 also puts you in control with personalized security settings that you can switch on or off in the app, including requesting permission to make cash withdrawals and online payments.

N26 banking app showing card settings and security features.
Mastercard SecureCode - Icon - N26 Security.

N26 virtual cards with Mastercard SecureCode

At N26, all our virtual debit cards are 3DS Mastercard SecureCode-enabled—a free security tool for increased user confidence. With SecureCode, Mastercard generates a one-time PIN when you attempt to make a card payment online. This is sent to your smartphone via SMS. Once you enter the code into the 3DS form on your screen, your transaction gets confirmed and your purchase is complete.

Get your own Mastercard virtual debit card with 3DS and SecureCode by opening an N26 bank account today.

Be 3D Secure with N26

3D Secure (3DS) is an added layer of security that authenticates your identity. When making a purchase online, you’ll be redirected to a 3DS page where the card issuer either requests a password or one-time code sent via SMS to your smartphone. This protects you from fraud if the card falls into the wrong hands.

At N26, every bank card is 3DS enabled—whether virtual or physical. Want to learn more about 3D Secure and how it safeguards your account?


N26 virtual debit card benefits

At N26, we believe virtual card payments should be simple, swift, and secure. Whether you are buying the necessities or treating yourself, our virtual payment card ensures that every purchase is safe and easy. Sign up for an account, verify your identity, and you can start using your virtual debit card straight away—simply add it to your digital wallet app and go.

What is a virtual debit card?

A virtual debit card is similar to a physical debit card, just in digital form. You can link your virtual debit card to Apple Pay or Google Pay for easy, contactless in-store purchases.

What is a virtual credit card?

A virtual credit card is a fully digital card that is stored on your smartphone. You can use virtual credit cards easily online, or store them in your digital wallet and then simply select and pay at checkout for in-person purchases.

Where can I use a virtual debit or credit card?

A virtual debit or credit card can be used just like you would use a physical bank card. Use them for in-store contactless payments and for online purchases. Some virtual cards even allow you to withdraw money from ATMs.

How do I know if my virtual card is safe to use?

All virtual debit and credit cards should be electronically encrypted to give you security from banking fraud. With N26, all our cards are 3D Secure enabled with Mastercard SecureCode, which ensures your identity gets verified when making online payments.