Cardholders Can Create One-Time Card Numbers for Online Transactions

March 31, 2016, Written By Lynn Oldshue
a security lock on credit cards / credit card data security and encryption

Online shopping may have become a little more secure, thanks to new developments from Privacy.com.

The website acts as a middleman between shoppers and online merchants, so customers do not have to give out their credit card numbers on the Internet. This, in theory, could protect consumers from being victims of data breaches that have become a common trend in America.

There are two different ways to use Privacy’s virtual Visas. You can either create a one-time card number to use for a specific transaction, or create a virtual card number that can only be used at a single vendor. Either way, the “fake” card number you create is linked to your actual card through Privacy’s secure server, but the original card information is never given to the merchant.

Privacy’s services are free to use. The organization makes money by taking a small portion of the interchange fees that card providers charge merchants for each transaction. The company has already generated some financial backing, raising $1.2 million in October. The program just launched last week, but so far, consumers seem to be fairly pleased with the results.

Currently, you can only use Privacy’s features as an app on Firefox and Chrome, or as an extension in Chrome. There is an extension for Firefox coming out in the near future, along with apps for Safari and Internet Explorer.

Even though Privacy blocks merchants from gathering payment card information, it acts as a storage device for that exact information. If you do not trust Privacy’s servers with your banking details, it may not be a good fit for you. PayPal provides a similar service, and it is accepted by most online retailers.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 31, 2016. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.