By 2028, global virtual card spend will have increased by 355%; from $3.1 trillion in 2023. The key driver will be the adoption of API-based virtual card issuing platforms, a new study by Juniper Research, revealed.
Virtual cards use randomly generated and generally temporary card numbers linked to a payment account, which are used to process payments; replacing genuine payment details. Virtual cards provide a secure and fast way to distribute funds, while effectively managing spending limits.
API-based virtual card issuing enables cards to be issued in a more seamless and cheaper way, improving efficiency and unlocking greater use cases within B2B and consumer payments.
The new Juniper Research Competitor Leaderboard report revealed that Stripe, Revolut and Marqeta are the established leaders in the virtual cards space. The report identified intuitive, API-based platforms, with easy-to-use functionality to securely deploy cards and manage spending restrictions, as the most important factors in their success.
Research author Daniel Bedford commented: “Virtual cards offer an adaptable solution that can be heavily customised, including spending limits and restrictions; enabling businesses to significantly improve their spend management, while reducing costs.”
In the highly competitive consumer virtual cards space, Juniper Research recommends that vendors offer loyalty- and rewards-linked cards, to differentiate themselves. Exclusive offers on partner products, rewards points and cashback on specific merchants can successfully encourage virtual card spending and customer retention. This will require virtual card platforms to build out partnership ecosystems, either by partnering directly with merchants, or with existing loyalty services.
The new market research suite offers the most comprehensive assessment of the virtual cards market to date, providing analysis and forecasts of over 39,000 datapoints across 60 markets over five years. It includes a ‘Competitor Leaderboard’ and examination of future market opportunities.