Virtual credit cards are provided by online travel agencies. The guest has made a reservation and already paid the amount due to the OTA. In order to make the applicable amount available to the PMS, a virtual credit card is issued an can be charged by the PMS via a Token.
Once the credit card is tokenized, it can be used be the PMS, according to the following rules and mechanisms:
Booking.com Direct Connection
1) VCC is active today - it will be tokenized with a 10-minute delay.
2) VCC is active on a specific day in the future - it will be tokenized that day at 12:00 PM UTC.
ADDITION: Due to the disruptions caused by the corona virus, Booking.com has changed the activation to the day after arrival.
Channel Manager Connection
1) If the channel manager specifies the activation date - the VCC will be tokenized at that day and time.
2) If the source is booking.com - the VCC will be tokenized with a 10-minute delay.
3) If none of the previous conditions are met, the VCC will be tokenized on arrival date and standard hotel check-in time.
For general information on tokenization, please see for example this article.