Virtual credit card may be next big payment option

While most industry experts agree that mobile credit card payments made with smartphones are the wave of the future, there is some debate about how exactly those transactions will be made. Now a company has launched an alternative many may find viable.

Payment company CSI GlobalVCard, which issues MasterCard-branded credit and debit cards, showed off a new technology it calls virtual credit cards at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, according to a report from InformationWeek. This mobile option differs from others in that it uses a smartphone to display an image of a MasterCard that the cashier at a store then enters as though it were a normal card.

But the trick will be the ways in which consumers can customize their card's use, the report said. They'll be able to set individual limits or expiration dates and receive a card number that is unique to that transaction, rather than just having one account number for everything.

While this type of payment method can help consumers protect their finances, another way to do so is by checking credit reports. These documents sometimes contain unfairly reported markings that may be harming consumer credit scores.