International online transactions in Nigeria such as shopping on Amazon, Aliexpress, Shein, and eBay or even paying for subscriptions on Google, Spotify and the likes have become a bit of a hassle after several banks in Nigeria cut the monthly international spending limits on Naira cards to $20 dollars.
As if that was not enough already, the much-loved virtual dollar service on Barter by Flutterwave was suspended on July 17, 2022, due to what it described as “an update from our card partner, which will cause the card service to be unavailable for an extended period of time.”
This has put many Nigerians who rely on Flutterwave’s Barter virtual dollar card in deep waters, although, we hope the service gets restored soon in the meantime, there are other alternatives to the Barter card.
What is a Virtual Dollar Card?
Virtual cards are credit or debit cards with all the features of regular cards but without physical elements. Basically, it’s a bank account online. You can make transactions with virtual cards just as you would with a physical debit or credit card, but you do not have to carry around the physical card. Also, some virtual cards offer cashback deals, so you can earn rewards on everyday purchases such as groceries and utilities.
One of the key advantages of a virtual dollar card is its flexibility. It can be used for a wide range of purposes, including:
1. Online Shopping
With a virtual dollar card, you can shop at international websites, purchase products from foreign vendors, and pay for goods and services in foreign currencies, all from the comfort of your home in Nigeria. This opens up a world of possibilities for accessing global markets and finding unique products and services.
2. Secure Transactions
Virtual dollar cards are known for their security features. They are not directly linked to your bank account, which means that even if your card details are compromised, your primary financial assets remain protected. This added layer of security makes virtual dollar cards an attractive option for online transactions.
3. Financial Privacy
Privacy is a growing concern in the digital age. Virtual dollar cards provide a level of financial privacy by allowing you to make purchases without revealing your primary bank account details. This can be particularly important when dealing with online platforms that you may not fully trust.
Apps and Services that offer Virtual Dollar Services in Nigeria
1. ALAT by Wema
ALAT by Wema is Wema Bank’s fully Digital Banking Platform that allows you to carry out all your banking transactions without ever having to visit any physical branch. ALAT also offers virtual dollar cards to its users. All you have to do is download the app from the App Store or Google Play store and sign up for an account. As soon as your account has been set up and funded, you can load your virtual dollar card with up to $20,000. If necessary, you can convert the dollars back into naira. However, it isn’t compatible with 3D Secure and can’t be used on money transfer websites.
How to get a Virtual Dollar Card on ALAT
- Download the ALAT by Wema app from Play Store or Apple Store.
- Create an account and log in.
- On the homepage, select “Cards”.
- Click on ‘ALAT Virtual Dollar Cards’ and enter your PIN.
- Next, click on ‘Create Dollar Card’ to create a new card (the Naira to Dollar exchange rate will be revealed).
- Fill in the necessary information and proceed.
2. Chipper Cash
Chipper cash has been around for a while and it offers virtual dollar cards to its users which can be used to make payments anywhere online. You can use the card wherever a Visa card is accepted.
The Chipper Cash wallet/accounts are divided into two categories – tiers 1 and 2. Tier 1 wallets have many limitations, while Tier 2 wallets provide access to more features. The Chipper Cash app claims to offer 5% cash back on all purchases
How to get a Virtual Dollar Card on Chipper Cash
- Download the Chipper cash application on Play Store or Apple Store;
- Create an account and log in to your account;
- Verify your Chipper cash account;
- On the homepage, select “Card” below;
- Next, click on ‘Create Dollar Card’ to create a new card;
- Fill in the necessary information and proceed.
3. Wallets Africa
Wallets Africa offers both physical and virtual naira and dollar cards that are called Magic Visa cards. You can use it to send money, receive money and make online international transactions.
However, this comes with a price, as your card comes with a monthly $1 fee, a $0.75 fee on every foreign transaction, and a 2% fee to load it from an external account.
How to get a Virtual Dollar card from Wallets Africa
- Download the Wallets Africa app from the App Store or Google Playstore
- Register for an account and verify the account
- Add funds to your Wallets Africa account
- Click on cards to create a Virtual dollar card
- Fund your card from your balance
Your card is now ready to be used for payments online.
GoMoney is a digital bank in Nigeria that offers a virtual dollar card solution that makes it easy for business owners and individuals to make payments online. With GoMoney, you can send and receive money easily in Nigeria.
A GoMoney card can be linked to a PayPal account, you can make payments with it in USD and you can also use it to make local payments here in Nigeria.
How to get a Virtual Dollar Card from GoMoney
- Download GoMoney app from Google PlayStore or App Store
- Register for an account
- Verify your account using your BVN number to become a Tier 2 user
- Go to the home page of your gomoney app and swipe left to the second section of the page.
- Tap on the ‘Get a card’ and create your PIN
- Start spending instantly
Fundall is a Nigerian digital bank specializing in loans and savings for businesses and individuals. In addition to offering bank accounts and budget planning, they offer a virtual dollar card so that people could spend money online without any problems.
Mintyn’s virtual dollar card enables freelancers, entrepreneurs, merchants and sole proprietors to do business at home and overseas.
With Mintyn’s Virtual Dollar Card, a non-physical dollar-denominated card, users can pay for international services like Amazon, Apple Music, Netflix, eBay, Aliexpress, and many more.
To enjoy the many benefits which Mintyn’s Dollar Card offers, all you have to do as a user is log into your account on the Mintyn app and create a personal virtual dollar card.
Klasha is a versatile platform that not only provides virtual dollar services but also offers a wide range of e-commerce solutions. Users can use Klasha to make international payments and enjoy a secure and convenient shopping experience. This platform bridges the gap between online shopping and seamless virtual dollar transactions.
Users have the flexibility to utilize it for various purposes, including making payments for international services such as Amazon, Apple Music, Netflix, eBay, Aliexpress, and numerous others. Additionally, it can be employed for conducting transactions on platforms like PayPal and various other services.
Eversend is a comprehensive financial platform that caters to the digital needs of Nigerians. In addition to virtual dollar services, Eversend offers features such as money transfers, currency exchange, and budget management. It aims to empower users to take control of their finances and embrace the benefits of virtual dollars.
9. Bitnob Virtual Card
Bitnob Virtual Card is a unique offering in the virtual dollar services landscape. It provides users with a virtual card that can be used for online transactions, subscriptions, and payments. This card simplifies the process of accessing virtual dollars and ensures a secure and convenient experience.