Virtual accounts – A Fintech love affair

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A virtual account in most cases looks and operates just like a normal bank account. Depending upon which payment scheme and bank they are housed they can have a standard BIC and IBAN just like a real bank account or if they are piped into a local scheme, they can have the corresponding jurisdictional format. In the US for example it’s possible to have virtual accounts tied to a routing number with their own unique account number, whereas, in the UK you get a sort code and account number.
From a transactional perspective, they also function just like a real account. They can receive funds. And in some cases, they are also able to send funds. So why virtual?

Virtual Accounts go by a lot of different terms, vIBANS, virtual ledgers, named accounts, sub-accounts, ZBAs and quite a few more. Call them whatever you like (the industry sure does) but under no circumstances are you to call them bank accounts!

Well, a ‘virtual’ account, at is nothing more than a conduit.
If you are knowledgeable in Fintech, you might disagree as follows:
“What!?” you exclaim. “No, it’s not” you boom in a surprisingly passionate outburst! (we are after all talking about a niche financial product. No need to be so dramatic…
And if you aren’t knowledgeable in Fintech you probably didn’t get this far down.

Half of you will be scratching your heads in confusion. The other half will be laughing dismissively at my, “oh so shallow” understanding of a complex financial instrument and are probably ready to close this tab right now. A third half of you will have been bored senseless and gone back to a more interesting 11:FS article by now. And the purist fourth half of you will be wanting to read on in the hopes of scooping up ammo as you go to hang, draw and quarter me. (…ugh Dad joke.)

Irrational fractions aside, let’s get on with explaining this product.

Download and read the full whitepaper here.