Open Collective
Open Collective
Closing our virtual card program in Dec 2023
Published on December 8, 2023 by Benjamin Nickolls

Attention: OSC hosted collectives currently using Virtual Cards

Open Source Collective has been informed that our provider, Stripe, will be disabling virtual cards issued to our member projects on 1st January 2024. From that date, all payments using issued cards will be declined. We will notify you which services you are using with affected cards so that you can update payment methods.
In May 2021 Open Collective announced support for Virtual Cards. Virtual cards are debit cards for your Collective that can be used for regular and one-off payments online, using your Collective's balance to pay. Since the launch, hundreds of our Collectives have used virtual cards, spending $1.8m without having to cover those costs personally, requesting a reimbursement. 

Last month, our provider, Stripe, notified us that 'subsequent to a routine review', they are unable to continue supporting us due to prohibitions on their restricted business list. We do not believe that we are covered by any of the restrictions on that list and have since been told that Stripe Issuing is 'for employees only'. This policy was not made clear when we first moved to Stripe as our virtual card provider, and the policy seems to contradict some of Stripe's own marketing materials. We are, of course, very disappointed. Virtual cards have been incredibly useful for our member projects, and we will be making arrangements with alternative providers for 2024. 

For the time being, we will need our member projects to update the payment details for services that use a virtual card, and to request a reimbursement for those expenses instead. We will notify you which services will be affected in the coming days. As usual, we will continue to pay expenses twice a week and can only apologize for the inconvenience caused.


Posted on December 9, 2023

Dang, that wasn’t expected

Mattia Astorino

Posted on December 9, 2023

I got virtual card 2 weeks ago and bought 2 service. I can't spend my time tracking them and sending manual expensive each month. I' sorry but I'll just close those services and inform users that is not our fault. 


Posted on December 9, 2023

Very disappointing, this makes OSC and by extensions Open collective unusable for us.

We have been using OC for the benefits of financial transparency, but it doesn't make much sense for a member to donate, then pay for the service and then request a reimbursement to themselves, especially taking the 10% fee into account.


Posted on December 9, 2023

Can you find another provider? This is the main reason we’re using opencollective and it’s a really invaluable part of the service. 


Posted on December 10, 2023

Not sure if they provide virtual cards, but Lemon Squeezy seems like a really good alternative to Stripe. Also I'm sure they can make arrangements if you ask them to.

Benjamin Nickolls

Posted on December 11, 2023

For those of you asking about an alternative provider: yes, we will find one. Stripe's Issuing product worked particualrly well for us as it had real-time authorisation of payments, so we'll be looking at something similar. 

Lauren Gardner

Posted on December 11, 2023

Apologies, when making the announcement I forgot to mention the interim workaround.

We will reach out to the collectives that currently use virtual cards with a list of your vendors. If that vendor can accept a payment via bank transfer, we can create a 'vendor profile' for them on the platform with their banking information as the payment directions. When you receive future invoices for this vendor, you can create an expense on the platform using the invoice and we will process the expense and the payment will be made from your collective balance (not a personal card).

This doesn't solve the convenience of the expense getting created automatically, as it did with virtual cards. But it does ensure that the payment will come from collective funds, not personal funds. So if this is a concern, the workaround would be a good short term solution until we can find a new vendor.
❤️  2

Antwan Carter

Posted on December 18, 2023