Corporate virtual cards: the ultimate guide

Virtual corporate cards are convenient, fast, safe, and effective — but are they better than the plastic ones we trust so much?

Stacy Kanevskaia
- 3 min read

Have you felt like a gerbil on an exercise wheel? Running faster and faster with no result? Balancing several financial spreadsheets is even worse. In fact, it can be so painful that you won't do anything with this data. You either throw it away or close your eyes and hope nothing goes wrong.

It's time to throw out the old receipts, write-offs, and lost data. Virtual corporate cards are here to save the day and get your team expenses in control. They're a great option if you're looking for a solution to help your team stay on top of their expense reports and streamline your processes.

But still: are the newbies really as good as their predecessors? How do they stack up against the virtual cards of old? We take a look.

First of all, what is a virtual card?

Your virtual card works the same way as a plastic card: it has a unique 16-digit number, CVC, and expiry date. You can pay in-store and online wherever Mastercard and Visa are accepted.

The key difference between a virtual payment card and a plastic card is that your virtual card is generated and stored online, now in your wallet.

Just like plastic cards, credit, and debit cards allow you to purchase things. Some allow you to withdraw money at ATMs. You can find more info about virtual business cards here.

What is a virtual corporate card?

A corporate virtual card works the same way as a personal virtual card, except it draws on a business' funds.

Virtual cards for business can be created with just one click — that's why they're so easy to use. Transactional updates are real-time, and you can create one-time-use cards or vendor-specific cards with this one-click option. Once a card number is generated, it's ready for business payments.

Why switch to virtual corporate cards?

The benefits of a virtual corporate credit card are endless. While it depends on your business needs and processes, virtual cards allow you to work smarter and more efficiently than ever before.

Create many cards in seconds

Generate virtual payment cards online and issue them to your team members instantly. No waiting for the card to arrive in the mail, no visiting a bank branch, and no extra steps.

Get business spending under control

You can create a unique virtual payment card for each type of expense or merchant. Once you’re finished with a virtual payment card, simply close it. This will help you keep track of your spending on SaaS subscriptions.

Increase safety and reduce fraud

Rock-solid security is the cornerstone of any virtual card for business. Safer than plastic cards, virtual cards use tokenization that generates unique, randomly generated codes for each purchase, making it harder for fraudsters to steal.

Get rid of shadow spend

Shadow spend is caused by employees who use corporate credit cards to make purchases that have not been authorized. No excess funds will be available with corporate virtual cards, so overspending or unauthorized spending does not even arise.

Track expenses in real time

Payments are automatically synced to your account as soon as they happen. Your spending patterns are transparent, and they help you create a healthier spending culture among employees.

The 6 reasons to choose Karta virtual corporate cards

Explore what Karta can do for your company. Check out how you can use tech to manage your finances, gain real insights into your business's growth, and delight your employees with virtual corporate cards they'll actually love.

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  • Create many cards, for many goals: any team member can get a virtual card in seconds. Tie it to an employee, vendor, advertising network, or subscription, get expenses in control, and make a virtual card work for your team goals.
  • Get up to 1% cashback on online business payments: you can easily re-invest it in other expense categories and load a new budget with it — with no loopholes, no hidden clauses!
  • Set limits and define access control: each virtual card for team comes with built-in limits, so you can be sure there's no room for out-of-budget spending.
  • Generate vendor-specific cards: set a limit for the card, and load the amount you want to spend, so it gets harder for your data to be stolen by a leak — only one card is used for all vendors.
  • Make your budgeting flexible and automated: divide expenses by teams and projects, or set the budget for subscriptions. The manager defines spending rules, employees create cards, and everything is approved — a relief for your finance team.


What is a virtual corporate card?

A virtual corporate card is just like a physical card, except you don’t have a physical copy. It has all the same details: a unique 16-digit number, cardholder's name, billing address, and CVV. It also has features customized to meet specific business needs: it's tied to your company's budget and has built-in limits to control how much you spend on business expenses.

How do I create a virtual corporate card?

First, you need a virtual card issuance service that gives you unlimited cards and budgets to start immediately. You can unlock all these features, team management, and more at Karta. Schedule a demo call with our manager to see how Karta can change your spending as a company.

Why is a virtual card not accepted?

The transaction will be declined if you attempt to purchase with your virtual card and don't have enough funds available in your funding source. At Karta, you can quickly top up your account or close the card and create a new one in seconds if something feels off about a previous card.

How to deposit a virtual corporate card?

You can quickly and easily top up your Karta virtual corporate card via ACH/Wire transfer from your bank — it only takes 1-3 days to process.