Virtual Dollar Cards: Alternatives To Flutterwave’s Barter Card, And Others

Customers of Barter, the consumer app of Africa's most valuable startup Flutterwave, were notified via email last Friday that access to its virtual dollar card service would be discontinued as of July 17. Customers would thus be unable to generate new virtual dollar cards, fund existing ones, or use them to make payments or purchases both online and in-person.

Other African fintech companies, including Eversend, Klasha, Busha, GetEquity, and Payday, subsequently sent similar messages between July 17 and July 18 with different timelines. Without mentioning a specific restart time, they said that the virtual dollar card service interruption was caused by an update from a card partner, who just so happened to be Union54.

Virtual dollar debit cards offered by fintechs have replaced local bank alternatives with transaction limits in recent years, proving to be a lifeline for many Africans. Customers (including individuals and businesses) can do worldwide online business on websites like Alibaba, Google, Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify using these virtual cards. 

It is easy to understand why these customers, who were forced to rely on these virtual cards created on Union54's backend, expressed their dissatisfaction with the news on social media. Many people have started looking for alternatives, including Sudo Africa, another card-issuing platform, and other fintechs including Chipper Cash, Mono, and Bitmama that claim to be unaffected by Union54's downtime (as a result of using another provider).

What is a Virtual Card?

A virtual dollar card is a digital, non-physical card with a dollar denomination that is used to make online purchases rather than actual card transactions like cash withdrawals. They frequently succeed where physical debit or credit cards from Nigerian banks and financial organizations that are denominated in naira fall short.

Given that it usually works when Nigerian naira master cards do not, it is noteworthy that the dollar virtual card serves as an advance payment tool for Nigerians.

Benefits of virtual dollar cards in Nigeria

Here are other alternatives to Barter, and others virtual dollar card.

ALAT Virtual Dollar Card

Wema Bank, a commercial bank operating in Nigeria, manages the digital-only brand ALAT. As a customer-focused financial institution, the app acts as a one-stop shop where users can choose to customize their own experiences. This includes dashboard personalization, where users can choose to hide and reveal their account balance as well as display the features they use the most frequently on their dashboard.

It provides a full range of financial services, including bank accounts, actual debit cards, savings accounts, loans, and is among the best virtual dollar cards available in Nigeria.

You have the option to sign up for a dollar virtual card as an ALAT owner just like you would any other card.

How to register for a virtual dollar card from ALAT

Once your account is set up and funded, you can deposit up to $20,000 onto your card directly from your Naira balance and, if necessary, convert the dollars back to Naira. However, it is incompatible with 3D Secure and cannot be used on websites that support money transfers.

Chipper Cash Visa Virtual Dollar Card

A pre-funded, reloadable virtual Visa card called the Chipper Cash Card can be used to make purchases anywhere online. The user's Chipper wallet can be used to fund the virtual dollar card, which can be obtained for free.

The card functions similarly to how your local bank card functions online. The card is accepted everywhere Visa cards are accepted for online purchases. It may also be used to simply purchase anything online with your Chipper cash wallet, including Netflix subscriptions, flights, and other services.

Tier 1 and Tier 2 wallets/accounts are available on Chipper Cash. While the app's tier 2 wallet gives you access to more functions, the tier 1 wallet has numerous limitations. According to Chipper Cash, it provides 5% cash back on every purchase.

The funding, spending, and withdrawal limits for Chipper USD Virtual Dollar Cards are as follows:

Wallet Africa

A Nigerian fintech startup called Wallets Africa makes it simple for businesses and consumers to spend, send, and receive money using an app and a card. People in Africa can use their virtual and actual US dollar VISA cards to pay for goods and services offered by international companies like Netflix, eBay, and Businesses can also easily pay international suppliers in USD.

Advantages of include physical cards and immediate account statements. However, using Wallet to create a physical Dollar card cost N1,500. 

This digital wallet is risk-free for travelers who don't want a real card to be visible while they're on the go. Your billing information will remain secret if you only supply your email address at checkout. The cost of this, however, is a monthly fee of $1, a $0.75 fee for each foreign transaction, and a 2 percent tax for external account loading.

You must be at least 16 years old to open an account with Wallets Africa. By utilizing the Wallets Africa app for Android or iOS or the Wallets Africa website, you can open an account. A working phone number and email address are all that are required.

Eyowo – Visa Virtual Dollar Card

One of Nigeria's most distinctive virtual dollar cards, offered by Eyowo, improves payment on online platforms for simpler transactions.

Eyowo is a reliable provider of financial technology that enables you to send and receive money with only your phone number. If you utilize Eyowo, you are also eligible for a "cardless ATM withdrawal" service. You can now access actual cash without using an ATM card thanks to this.

You may fund your virtual Dollar card with as little as $1 with Eyowo.

How to register for a virtual dollar card from Eyowo

Online shopping with card and laptop computer

Fundall Virtual Dollar Card

A digital bank based in Nigeria called Fundall offers both personal and business customers a wide range of financial services, including loans and savings accounts in addition to bank accounts and budgeting tools. The Fundall Virtual US Dollar Card is a prepaid dollar-denominated card that enables you to make payments and shop online without limitations or entering your ATM card details from any location in the world.

To make a one-time payment for ongoing purchases, you can quickly create several Virtual US Dollar Cards using the Fundall app.

How to register for a virtual dollar card from Fundall

Minty Bank Virtual Dollar Card

The Mintyn Bank Virtual Dollar Card offers several benefits to freelancers, business owners, merchants, and sole proprietors who conduct operations both home and abroad. Customers can pay for international services like Amazon, Apple Music, Netflix, eBay, WordPress, and many more with Mintyn's Virtual Dollar Card, a virtual dollar-denominated card.

A virtual dollar card is quite simple to own. You may activate your virtual dollar in only one minute by logging onto the Mintyn app. From The Mintyn App, Manage Your Card the Way You Want. You are in control of your card's security. You can deactivate cards and freeze them with only one tap.

How to register for a virtual dollar card from Mintyn

FXKudi virtual dollar card

Use the FXKudi virtual dollar card to pay anywhere online. All of your favorite platforms accept Mastercard. The FXKudi card is your key to payment independence, whether you want to shop online, reserve rides, keep entertained, pay for digital adverts, or conveniently make other payments online. You won't be charged anything for using your card to make a payment from FXKudi, not even monthly maintenance fees.

Create multiple cards for different purposes, and control your spending on each card or choose to freeze any of them.

How to register for a virtual dollar card from FXKudi

Key Takeaway

It is essentially difficult to conduct business globally when Nigerian banks have a $20 daily limit on overseas transactions. It's interesting that many Nigerians have found a solution to this with the advent of virtual cards.

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