Online shoppers, here are a few good reasons why you need a virtual prepaid card

by Haadi Bakar
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These days I use my BIBD debit card for almost everything, whether it’s buying groceries, paying my utility bills or the occasional online shopping (mostly tech stuff). I just love using it because of the convenience it gives me.

But no matter how reliable and secure debit cards claim to be, I’m always concerned of being a victim to debit card fraud, particularly when I shop online.

It has happened to me before with my old credit card issued by my previous bank, so the thought of hackers gaining access to my data and my entire savings is distressing.

Thankfully, BIBD offers a more secure alternative, and it doesn’t even take anymore space in my wallet.

BIBD’s Virtual Prepaid MasterCard, or vCard, is not a physical plastic card. Instead it resides in the BIBD Mobile app in our smartphone in the form of a unique 16-digit computer generated number.

The BIBD vCard works just like a debit card, except it’s not a physical card and it doesn’t link to your primary account.

Yet the vCard works just like a debit card: use it to shop and pay bills online, make BIBD eTunai payments or transfer funds to another account. You can even withdraw cash from an ATM – more on this later.

And the fact that it’s a MasterCard means it is widely accepted online.

Unlike debit cards however, the vCard isn’t linked to my personal savings account in BIBD. This makes it a more reliable instrument for frequent online shoppers.

So when a merchant’s website has a security breach, online shoppers will have greater peace of mind knowing that their primary account data and savings are safely concealed from prying eyes.

Setting up a BIBD vCard is simple, quick and free. It’s all done via the BIBD Mobile app (see video above). And if you have an active PayPal account, you can add the vCard to your list of cards on the service too.

Since the vCard is a prepaid debit card, you will need to top it up with cash in order for it to work, and this can be done simply through the app or BIBD’s CDMs (cash deposit machines) all across the country.

This cash top up method also encourages online shoppers to have control on their spending habits, since the vCard isn’t linked to their savings. So whatever amount you put into your vCard is the amount you can spend the next time you’re thinking of splurging at Zalora.

But vCards aren’t just handy for online shoppers. Vendors too, particularly the home businesses and part-time entrepreneurs that sell their products online and accept transactions from customers digitally, can benefit from opening up a virtual card.

With a vCard, small-scale vendors can treat it like their own business accounts; they can use it as their repository for customers to transfer payment to and also make purchases or pay bills for their business operations, entirely separate from their personal account.

For small businesses, it’s a great alternative over setting up another bank account for business and make those mandatory B$1,000 deposits. Setting up a vCard is free and only takes a few seconds – no legal documents needed.

Cardless withdrawal is now possible with BIBD’s Virtual Prepaid MasterCard.

Another unique feature of the BIBD vCard is I can make cardless withdrawals (of my balance in the vCard) at any BIBD ATMs in Brunei. Cardless withdrawal may sound like some futuristic tech, but the vCard allows me to do this and it’s actually pretty cool.

It works by simply tapping ‘Get PIN for Cash Withdrawal’ and selecting ‘Request PIN’ on the BIBD Mobile app’s Digital Payment section. Then, on the BIBD ATM screen, just select Cardless withdrawal and enter the PIN provided on your phone. No physical cards required!

So the next time you want to impress your friends when you’re at a BIBD ATM outlet, have some of your savings transferred to your vCard and withdraw from your ATM with just your phone.

And because you don’t have to carry around a physical card, you’re not going to lose it and no one is going to steal it from you.

Also you’re doing your part in saving the environment when using a vCard to disburse payments. That’s less plastic in the landfill!

The only downside of vCards is that I can’t use it on over-the-counter debit card readers, like when I’m paying the bill at a restaurant, for instance. It is a virtual card after all (what do you expect, swipe with my phone?).

So using a vCard as your primary payment method may not be a sound idea. It’s better to actually use both the vCard and your debit card sparingly, especially when you’re travelling.

If you are a BIBD account holder and you don’t have a BIBD vCard yet, you owe it to yourself when you sign up for one.

It’s free to set up, easy to use with just your smartphone, is globally accepted and is more secure than any conventional payment methods right now. And being a BIBD product, the vCard is also Shariah compliant.

The benefits of using it really outweighs the drawbacks.

To learn more about the BIBD Virtual Prepaid MasterCard, go to or call 2238181.


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