Netsafe - Virtual Credit  Cards for online payment in India               Home


Netsafe card is a virtual credit card facility from HDFC bank, for making online payments. HDFC bank has a tie-up with Visa for this product. Citibank offers a similar credit card for online payment. Many merchants who accept payment through credit card are not familiar with this product. For example, if you make payment for Google Adwords for the initial signup only, it will accept the payment and if  you check the status of the card will show Google Inc.  However the amount, you wish to pay is not charged immediately. Since the card is valid only for a short time, it will expire and amount will be credited back to your account. After  a month, you will get a message from Google Adwords stating the card is invalid. You will again have to generate a new Netsafe card, which will be debited immediately.

Netsafe is a one time use card, which expires approximately 24 hours after it is generated. It is safe for making online payments since the actual credit or debit card number and other details are not revealed. If the card is not charged or used within 24 hours, the amount is credited back to your account. In case the card is only partly used (for foreign currency transactions, the exact exchange rate is not known), the remaining amount is credited back to your account after 4 working days. For larger amounts, the balance is credited back after 40 days, only after you file a complaint with HDFC bank.


The NetSafe card cannot be used for transactions where recurring payment is to be made or for purchases where the actual card has to be displayed like airline tickets. For foreign currency transactions, the amount charged to the card is available only after 3 days. For US dollar payments, it is advisable to generate a credit card, with a slightly higher limit, since exchange rates fluctuate on a daily basis. It can be used for making local purchases in Indian rupees on auction sites also.


Due to fraud/chargeback's, some payment gateways like World Pay do not accept payment through the card. In such transactions, you will get a warning. The funds from your account will be blocked from 3-4 days.  The actual foreign currency exchange rate is 3% more than the standard Visa foreign currency conversion rate for  US$ to Indian Rupees. After December 2006, they will charge an exchange rate of 6%. Also if the merchant, does not charge the card immediately (within 24 hours) , you could face a problem.


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