Are you looking to optimise the management of your travel budget and to ensure the security of online purchases linked to it? If so, it’s worth noting that alternative solutions exist to the traditional debit or credit card, as explained below.

Purchasing an airline or train ticket, booking a hotel, hiring a car… Whether you’re travel manager for your company or just a regular business traveller yourself, you’ll be used to making online payments. With the explosion in e-commerce, this payment method has become an everyday act, but if you worry about your bank details being compromised, here are a couple of alternative payment solutions.

The virtual bank card

How does this type of card work? When confirming an online transaction, the system generates a unique card number – virtual and temporary – which replaces your usual bank card number. It’s directly linked to the amount of the purchase you wish to make and can therefore be used solely for that purpose (multiple purchases are possible from a single e-retailer). Since this virtual card is valid only for a limited time, expires after a single use and is not linked to your bank account number, it cannot be lost, stolen or hijacked. Consequently, it provides reinforced protection against online fraud.

The prepaid card

In a similar vein – and more common here in Europe – you also have the option of using a prepaid card. As its name suggests, this card is credited with a certain amount of funds in advance and can be topped up as required. As it’s not linked to your bank account, it doesn’t divulge any of your personal or financial data when you make purchases online or by phone. Unlike a normal debit or credit card, you can’t go overdrawn with the card, which gives you excellent budget control as it’s impossible to spend more than you planned!

Find out more from your bank or from an online bank about the costs involved and the different solutions to suit your requirements.