Even though prepaid cards are becoming more and more popular across the world, many people have never had a chance to learn all the benefits of this option. They have some similarities to standard debit or credit payment cards, but there are some unique features that make them stand out from the variety of all banking products. In this article, you will find out more about the types of prepaid cards and their practical specificity.
Getting Prepaid Cards
Today, there is quite a wide range of stored-value cards in the banking sector. Here are some detailed descriptions.
- The non-reloadable card is limited to a particular sum of money that is the card's nominal value. This is the case because it is initially issued with a specific amount of money. In such countries as the United States and Canada, prepaid cards are sold in stores as virtual gift cards so that you can buy them without specifying any personal details.
- The reloadable card is linked to an account, although it stays under the anonymity status. This form of prepaid card is zero-balance because its holder is allowed to reload the account on his or her own any time.
The main nuance that makes virtual prepaid cards and plastic ones different is that the last ones do not operate physically. In other words, they function as pure data that can be used during a payment process. All online systems view them as standard debit forms. If you decide on getting a virtual prepaid card, you must be the resident of the country where it is distributed, confirm your identity, and specify your physical address.
Characteristics of virtual prepaid cards
Prepaid cards contain certain features originating from their essential characteristics:
- They need to be activated. When you get the card later than its issue day, it remains in non-operating status. Usually, they need to be activated at retail places by the seller. Alternatively, you as a card holder can active it yourself by calling the respective bank customer support.
- They must be registered. A prepaid card requires verification of the name and the address. Thanks to the AVS (Address Verification System) examination, the holder's billing address must be available.
- They have a specific value and expiry date. Stored-value cards are subject to strict limitations on their expiration date compared to standard debit and credit cards. The period of their validity usually doesn’t exceed one year.
Virtual prepaid cards often happen to be the only solution, especially when you need a prepaid card within the shortest timeframes. The benefit of anonymity can hardly be denied, especially when you need to stay in the shade.