Google Chrome adds virtual credit card numbers to protect your real ones – TechCrunch
Google today announced that its Chrome browser will now offer users the ability to use a virtual credit card number in online payment forms on the web. These virtual card numbers allow you to keep your “real” credit card number safe when buying something online, as they can be easily revoked if a merchant’s systems are hacked. A number of credit card issuers already offer these virtual credit card numbers, but they’re probably a lot less common than they should be.
Google says these virtual cards will be rolling out in the US later this summer. Since Google is working with both card issuers like Capital One which is the launch partner for this feature but also major networks like Visa and American Express which will be supported at launch with Mastercard support coming later This year. Having network support is definitely a big deal here, as trying to get every individual card issuer to participate would be a difficult task.
The new feature will be available first on Chrome on desktop and Android, with iOS support rolling out later.
“This is a major step in bringing virtual card security to as many consumers as possible,” said Arnold Goldberg, vice president and general manager of payments at Google. “Shoppers using Chrome on desktop and Android can enjoy a fast checkout experience when shopping online while having peace of mind knowing their payment information is protected.”
From a user’s perspective, this new autofill option will simply enter the virtual card details for you, including the CVV that you will never remember for your physical cards, then you can manage the virtual cards and see your transactions on pay.google.com. Although these virtual cards are generally used for one-time purchases, you will also be able to use these cards for subscriptions.
Since it’s Google, some users will obviously be concerned that the company uses this additional data about your shopping habits, but Google says it won’t use any of this information for ad targeting purposes.