The majority of business transactions today are managed and processed online. But every time you make a vendor payment with a business card or via a business bank account, you run the risk of having your business’s financial information obtained by fraudsters. With cybercrime on the rise, it’s crucial to implement security measures that can proactively prevent bank information from falling into the wrong hands and jeopardizing the business’s finances or, potentially, its customers’ private data.

While VPNs, firewalls, and other security protocols exist to help mitigate the safety of business credentials at large, your risk inevitably widens as your business scales and the number of third parties you interact with increases. As of this year, cybercriminals are increasingly targeting third parties, such as software vendors, as a way to attack businesses since less attention is placed on tracking and mitigating threats from outside services.

As your business expands, how can you protect yourself and your business from financial fraud?

In this guide, we’ll review how virtual card services not only protect consumers shopping online, but that they can also be leveraged by sole proprietors and small business owners to tighten security around vendor payments. We cover:

  • Why Use Privacy Virtual Cards For Your Business
  • How To Get Started with Privacy Teams: Virtual Cards for Businesses
  • Issue Privacy Virtual Cards for Your Business Expenses and Online Payments

Why use Privacy Virtual Cards for your business?

A Privacy Virtual Card is a secure solution for small business owners who need to enable and monitor employee transactions and to pay third party vendors quickly and safely. Unlike standard burner cards that are only used for one-off purchases, Privacy Virtual Cards are equipped with enhanced security features that give business owners more control over their finances. You can leverage Privacy’s Teams plan, created for entrepreneurs and business owners, to keep your online business transactions secure.

What is the benefit of a virtual card?

Virtual cards have several key benefits. Virtual cards can be used to mask bank and card details by randomly generating 16-digit numbers for each merchant the card is used at. Beyond security, virtual cards also have custom spend settings that can prevent abuse from fraudsters or third parties. With Privacy Cards specifically, users can:

1. Mask your online payment information

Privacy Virtual Cards consist of a 16-digit card number, CVV, and expiration date that can be used in place of your business credit or debit card when making online transactions.

If you’re a sole proprietor, you may work with a repertoire of vendors and contractors to help execute daily business operations. Oftentimes, these services require monthly subscription payments or recurring invoices to be paid to the vendor. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to completely manage third parties and their security protocols. Should any of them experience a breach, your business credentials and payments information are at stake, and the security of your business is outside of your control.

Using masked cards for your vendor payments to shield your actual card info is a simple way to mitigate the risk of fraudulent actors obtaining your business’s information. Each Privacy Card will also lock to the first vendor it’s used at, so if the card details are compromised, any attempts elsewhere will be declined by Privacy.

2. Set spend limits on each virtual card to block fraud or hidden fees

In addition to strengthening online payment security, Privacy Virtual Cards allow businesses to have more control over spending with custom limits and settings. With Privacy Virtual Cards, you can:

  • Set a spend limit per transaction, per month, or per year
  • Lock cards to a specific merchant so they can't be used anywhere else
  • Pause, unpause, and close cards anytime

Privacy Virtual Cards automatically decline when a merchant or vendor attempts to authorize anything over the spend limit. Users receive a real-time notification on every transaction and decline, so your team can pause or close the card immediately to prevent further unwarranted charges.

Spend limits can be set on a per-card basis and can be helpful when delegating spending to employees. For example, you can quickly generate and share a Privacy Virtual Card to be used for things like lunch orders or office supplies without worrying about accidentally going over budget.

3. Receive real-time transaction alerts each time an online purchase is made or declined

Paying on time is crucial to maintaining healthy relationships with your vendors. Privacy Virtual Cards send out alerts for every transaction, including declines, directly to your device or inbox. This makes it easy for you to proactively confirm when payments have been successfully delivered.

4. Track and monitor all online business spend

Easily organize your business expenses by generating a unique virtual card for every department, project, or vendor you work with. Within each virtual card in your Privacy wallet, you can see how much has been spent on that card and when the transactions occurred, allowing you to quickly track and account for payments.

Additionally, all of your cumulative transactions can be easily accessed through your Privacy Dashboard where you can view all online business transactions in one place. You can download and export custom-range account statements as a PDF, Excel, OFX, or CSV file. This makes it easy to integrate Privacy transactions into accounting programs you might use.

How do Privacy Virtual Cards for businesses work?

Businesses can leverage all of the benefits of Privacy Virtual Cards for their business’s online transactions and payments. With Privacy Teams created for small business owners, users receive:

  • 1% cashback on eligible transactions up to $4,500 per month
  • Up to 60 cards a month (Merchant Locked or Single Use Cards, with spend limit controls)
  • Priority support

To understand how to start using Privacy Virtual Cards for your business, we’ll walk you through the Privacy Teams onboarding flow below.

How To Get Started with Privacy Teams - Virtual Cards for Business

To get started with our Privacy Teams’ onboarding process, our Business Onboarding Team will require information about your business. This information is used for two things:

  1. In order for us to meet compliance and network regulations required by our banking partners, we need to verify that your business is legitimate and isn’t being used for illegal purposes.
  2. Our Business Onboarding Team also uses this information to confirm that Privacy Teams is the right plan for you. Given your business’s use case, there may be another Privacy plan better suited for your needs today, or in the future as your business scales.

Whether you’re a new business owner selecting a virtual card provider for the first time or an established business looking for card issuing alternatives to your current provider, reference the steps below to understand what the Privacy Teams onboarding process looks like.

What does the onboarding process look like?

In order for your Privacy account to be configured for business use via the onboarding process, we recommend customers have the following information ready before they begin:

  1. Business Information (EIN, physical address)

The legally required information for companies is:

  • Legal business name (e.g., “Lithic, Inc.” vs. “Lithic”)
  • Physical Address
  • Employer Identification Number (“EIN”)

2. If you’re a sole proprietor, we’ll ask for the standard KYC information that we request from our users (phone number, social security, etc.). If you’re an owner of a private or registered business entity (like a corporation, LLC, or partnership), we’ll request additional Ownership Information, as required by law.

3. We’ll then ask about your Intended Usage to better understand your business use case and how you plan on using Privacy for your virtual card needs.

Once we have all the information above, our Business Onboarding Team will do their due diligence to verify your business account. If everything is approved, our team will activate the account.

If our Business Onboarding Team needs more information, we will reach out to you to request the additional details. Your account will remain in a paused state until our team has everything they need to activate your account.

At any point in the onboarding funnel, please feel free to reach out with questions to our Support Agents at support@privacy.com. One of the key benefits of Privacy Teams is the priority our Team users receive, so we encourage you to leverage this for any tips or suggestions when getting started.

Issue Privacy Virtual Cards for Your Business Expenses and Online Payments

Whether you are a sole proprietor or small business owner, using virtual cards for online purchases allows you to protect and control your business’s online payments, and gives you the ability to easily manage and track vendor and employee transactions.

If you would like more information or need assistance getting your business onboarded with Privacy, send us a message and we’ll be able to help determine how virtual cards can fit into your existing business.

Privacy — Seamless & Secure Online Card Payments
Checkout securely online by creating unique virtual card numbers for every purchase. Avoid data breaches, unwanted charges, and stolen credit card numbers.