Flutterwave last week announced the suspension of its virtual card service, Barter card, due to what it described as “an update from our card partner, which will cause the card service to be unavailable for an extended period of time.” This has thrown many Nigerians who rely on this channel for their dollar transactions on edge.
For international online transactions such as paying for Facebook ads, buying on Amazon, on Google, Spotify, or even subscribing to Netflix, it is quite difficult to use your normal bank debit card.
Moreso, with the $20 daily limit on international transactions by Nigerian banks, it becomes practically impossible to transact business internationally. Interestingly, the introduction of virtual cards has proffered a solution to this for many Nigerians.
What is a virtual dollar card?
A virtual card is a card with all the features of a regular credit or debit card, but one that is not physical. It is an online account like your regular bank account. Virtual cards allow you access to your bank accounts and make transactions in the same way as a physical debit or credit card without carrying it around. Some virtual cards also offer cashback deals which means you can earn rewards on everyday spending like groceries or utilities.
Other virtual dollar card services available in Nigeria
While many had relied on Flutterwave’s Batter me for virtual card service, the suspension, effective from July 17, 2022, means that users will no longer be able to buy or make international payments on the platform anymore. Here are 5 other alternatives:
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Chipper cash card is a pre-funded and reloadable virtual visa card that can be used anywhere online for payment. The card works in the same way your local bank card works online. The card can be used for online purchases anywhere Visa cards are accepted. It can also be used to book flights, subscribe to Netflix, or buy anything online easily from your Chipper cash wallet.
Chipper Cash has two types of wallets/accounts – tier 1 and tier 2. Tier 1 wallet has many limitations but tier 2 allows you to access more features of the app. Chipper Cash says it offers 5% cash back on all purchases.
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ALAT Virtual Dollar Card
ALAT is a digital-only brand operated by Wema Bank, a commercial bank active in all of Nigeria. It offers a complete banking package, with bank account, physical debit card, savings, loans, and it is one of the best virtual dollar cards in Nigeria. Once your account is set up and funded, you can load your card straight from your naira balance for up to $20,000 and change the dollars back into naira if you need to. However, you can’t use it on money transfer websites, and it is not compatible with 3D Secure.
Wallets Africa is a Nigerian startup that offers virtual and physical naira and dollar cards. Considering the true nature of these credit cards, it makes them great for travelling, which is something many Nigerians are struggling to do due to the increase in theft.
For travellers who don’t want a physical card to be seen when travelling, this digital wallet is 100% risk-free. All you need to provide is your email address at checkout, and your billing information will remain private as well. However, this comes with a price, as your card comes with a monthly $1 fee, a $0.75 fee on every foreign transaction, and a 2% fee to load it from an external account.
Fundall is a Nigerian digital bank providing a wide array of financial services to private and business customers, from a bank account and budget planning to saving pots and loans. They’ve recently launched a virtual dollar card to spend money online without barriers, offering the first card for free, with a minimum load of $5.
The Mintyn Bank Virtual Dollar Card provides numerous benefits to freelancers, entrepreneurs, merchants, and sole proprietors who do business at home and abroad. With Mintyn’s Virtual Dollar Card, a non-physical dollar-denominated card, customers can pay for international services like Amazon, Apple Music, Netflix, eBay, WordPress, and many more.
To enjoy the many benefits which Mintyn’s Virtual Dollar Card offers, all a customer needs to do is log into their account on the Mintyn app and activate a personal Virtual dollar card which takes less than a minute.