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 and can be charged by the PMS via a Token.
Once the credit card is tokenized, it can be used by 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.
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 (e.g. Expedia), 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.