Digital payment methods have developed rapidly in Indonesia in the past few years. Of the various options available, payment methods via virtual accounts and bank transfers are popular choices among other payment methods. 

At first glance, it looks almost the same, those payment methods have distinct differences. To choose the payment method that suits our needs, you can see the explanation below: 

Get to Know Virtual Accounts 

A virtual account (VA) is a virtual bank account that can be the destination account for a payment transaction. The VA usually consists of the company’s customer identification number, opened by the bank at the company’s request to be given to the customer as the account for the transaction. 

Usually, the customer will get a VA ID number called a Virtual Account Number for every single transaction. In practice, the identification number can also change for different transactions. In Indonesia, there are two types of VA, namely: 

  1. Fixed virtual account is a type of VA whose identification number can be determined by the customer and does not change for each transaction. The e-wallet services, which use the user’s mobile number as an identification number, are examples of this type of VA.
  1. Non-fixed virtual account is a type of VA with an identification number that can change dynamically for each transaction. E-commerce is one of the digital services that use this type of VA.

Companies, sellers, or organizations that need a practical, easy, and fast transaction method commonly use the VA payment method. For customers, payments through VA also make the transaction process faster. 

With VA, customers only need to enter the identification number provided by the company to complete the transaction. In addition, they also do not need to send a transaction receipt to the seller because it is recorded automatically in the seller’s or company’s transaction history. 

What is the Difference Between VA and Bank Transfer? 

Bank transfers are a commonly used transaction method. However, with the rapid development of technology, the way people conduct transactions has changed, from going to a branch office to using online bank services. 

There are two types of bank transfer services, namely bank transfers and interbank transfers. The difference lies in the transaction fees charged. Transfers to the same bank will not incur a transaction fee, while transfers to a different bank will incur a transaction fee determined by the bank. 

Then, what is the difference between VA transaction methods and manual transfers between banks? 

Basically, we can find four differences between these two payment methods. They are the fee, the customer who uses the account, transaction confirmation, and the account number used. 

Transaction fees 

Transactions using VA are usually not subject to additional fees by banks or transaction service providers. Meanwhile, there are fees for every bank transfer transaction if the account number of the final destination of the transaction is a different bank account number or payment service provider from the source of funds account. 


VA accounts can only be issued or opened by banks for clients who have business accounts. Usually, a company, organization, or business player owns a business account in the bank. 

Meanwhile, consumers can only use VA issued by companies, organizations, or business players as the final destination account for a transaction. For example, to top up their electronic wallet balances, pay electricity bills, or transfer funds. 

Bills that appear in VA accounts can be paid off by individual consumers as long as they have financial services. For example, such as a savings account at a bank or an electronic wallet. 

On the flip side, the interbank transfer service can be used by individual and business customers as long as they have an active account number at a bank. 

Transaction confirmation 

VA can identify transactions according to the invoices billed to customers. Therefore, this method usually no longer requires confirmation after the customer has completed the transaction. 

In contrast, manual confirmation is usually required on interbank transfer methods so that the company, organization, or seller can verify the transaction. The most common way is by sending screenshots or photos of the transaction receipt documents. 

However, not all bank transfers require manual confirmation either. In some cases, if the consumer adds a unique code to the (usually) last three digits of the transaction nominal, the interbank transfer transactions can be immediately recognized by the destination account holder. 

In addition, the destination account holder can also recognize interbank transfer transactions if they have registered with the SMS banking service, which can inform them every transaction that occurs via SMS. 

The account number used 

A VA account number is a temporary virtual account consisting of a customer identification number that can be changed for each transaction and can only be used as a destination account if there are bills to be paid. Meanwhile, accounts for bank transfers are fixed and cannot be changed because they have been determined by the bank from the beginning of account creation. 

Choosing a Payment Method That Fits Your Needs 

VA services or bank transfers have their advantages and disadvantages. By knowing the difference between the two, customers can choose the service that fits their current needs. 

Bank transfers are very suitable for individual customers and can be the destination account for transactions with low frequency. Meanwhile, VA services, with all the conveniences offered, are more applicable for customers who have a business, company, or organization with a fairly frequent transaction frequency. In addition to not requiring transaction confirmation, transaction history is recorded automatically and easily tracked.