Benefits of the three main payment card types


When planning to launch its card program, any company first needs to consider what type of cards it will issue. It would help if you also thought about where you can use these cards to pay – only in retail outlets through POS terminals or both at points of sale and over the Internet. And what if you want to link your payment cards to digital wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay?

In this article, we’ll look at all the most popular types of payment cards. These are not only traditional debit cards with a plastic physical carrier but also virtual and digital wallet cards. Knowing the features of the main types of cards, you will be able to choose for your business their best combination and the platform that can issue them.

Types of cards

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Payment cards differ in the type of medium that holds the information a merchant needs to fulfill an authorization request. It comes in 3 types:

  1. Physical.
  2. Virtual.
  3. Digital wallet.

Let’s look at the features of each of these types.

Physical Card

Physical cards are still the primary method of payment today. Their owners can use a plastic carrier for the physical payment of goods and services in retail outlets and for digital transactions. To pay online, you must enter data into a particular form or scan the card details. After receiving the card information, the merchant can complete the transaction.

The physical card stores the following information, which the merchant uses to complete the transaction:

  1. The cardholder’s name.
  2. The primary account number, which consists of 16 digits. The digits encode the name of the card network, the issuing bank, and the cardholder’s account.
  3. Expiration date.
  4. Security code. It is needed to confirm the transaction without the card.

When choosing a platform for issuing physical cards, you must consider how the plastic one will be set up.

It is much less common than before, but it still encounters cards with a magnetic stripe. A more advanced option with an EMV chip or NFC for contactless payments may also be chosen. In this case, you also need to think further about security methods and how to put a PIN code on the card.

Virtual card

Virtual cards have started to be actively used by large companies and digital wallet services like Apple Pay and Google Pay. They also have a 16-digit number and can be used to pay for goods and services where traditional physical cards have been used. The convenience of this means of payment is that payments are much faster. Besides, it is a more flexible payment instrument that is easier to control. Virtual cards can be disposable and reusable. It is also possible to issue a virtual card for a predetermined amount.

When choosing a platform to issue virtual cards, you need to ensure it can securely display data. It applies to both the PAN number and expiration date, CVV2.

Digital Wallet

A digital wallet is a system for storing digitized information. Digital versions of physical and virtual cards can be stored in them. It will allow seamless contactless payments. Over the past two years, the number of people using a digital wallet to pay for goods and services has increased by 7% in the U.S. alone.

As the popularity of digital wallets is increasing rapidly among merchants, additional benefits for cardholders are expected to emerge soon. For this reason, cardholders will have more reasons to send their payment cards to digital wallets. 

Recommendations for choosing a platform

When choosing a platform to launch a card program, your first consideration should be what types of cards it can issue. Wallester platform gives you the opportunity to issue physical, virtual, and tokenized cards. It can issue debit cards, credit cards, prepaid cards, gift cards, and any other card you need for your business. It can be used to issue any physical card configuration you see fit. These can be EMV chip cards, chip and PIN cards, or chip and signature cards.

All cards issued using Wallester platform are easy to use and have advanced functionality and robust transaction security.



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