Flutterwave last week announced the suspension of its virtual map service, Barter Map, due to what it described as “an update from our mapping partner that will cause the map service to be unavailable for an extended period of time.” This has put many Nigerians who rely on this channel for their dollar trades on edge.
For international online transactions like paying for Facebook ads, buying on Amazon, on Google, Spotify, or even subscribing to Netflix, it’s quite difficult to use your regular debit card.
Moreso, with the daily limit of $20 for international transactions by Nigerian banks, it becomes practically impossible to do business internationally. Interestingly, the introduction of virtual cards has provided 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 a card that is not physical. It is an online account like your regular bank account. Virtual cards allow you to access your bank accounts and transactions in the same way as a physical debit or credit card without carrying it around. Some virtual cards also offer cash back deals, meaning you can earn rewards for everyday expenses such as groceries or utilities.
Other Virtual Dollar Card Services Available in Nigeria
While many have relied on Flutterwave’s Batter for virtual card service, the suspension, effective July 17, 2022, means users will no longer be able to purchase or make international payments on the platform. 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 for payment anywhere online. The card works in the same way as your local bank card 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 something simple online from your Chipper money wallet.
Chipper Cash has two types of wallets/accounts: tier 1 and tier 2. The 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 brand operated by Wema Bank, a commercial bank operating across 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 directly from your naira balance for up to $20,000 and change the dollars back to naira if necessary. However, you cannot use it on money transfer websites and it is not compatible with 3D Secure.
Wallets Africa is a Nigerian startup offering virtual and physical naira and dollar cards. Given the true nature of these credit cards, it makes them great for travel, which is something many Nigerians struggle with due to the increase in theft.
For travelers who don’t want a physical card to be seen while traveling, this digital wallet is 100% risk-free. All you need to provide is your email address at checkout, and your billing information will also remain private. This comes with a price, though, as your card comes with a $1 monthly fee, a $0.75 fee for each foreign transaction and a 2% fee to load it from an external account.
Fundall is a Nigerian digital bank that provides a wide range of financial services to private and corporate clients, from bank account and budget planning to piggy banks and loans. They recently launched a virtual dollar card to spend money online without barriers, offering the first card for free, with a minimum amount of $5.
The Mintyn Bank Virtual Dollar Card offers numerous advantages for freelancers, entrepreneurs, traders and sole traders who do business at home and abroad. Mintyn’s Virtual Dollar Card, a dollar-denominated non-physical card, allows customers to pay for international services such as Amazon, Apple Music, Netflix, eBay, WordPress, and many more.
To enjoy the many benefits of Mintyn’s virtual dollar card, 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.