Google Launches Virtual Credit Card for Android and Chrome users

Google Launches Virtual Credit Card for Android and Chrome users

Google Chrome generates virtual credit card numbers to protect your actual ones.

Google is implementing a feature called Virtual Card Numbers to Chrome's autofill system that will allow you to disguise your credit or debit card information while making online purchases. Google claims that the capability will make it easier to make safe purchases on websites that don't accept Google or Apple Pay.

It's essentially the same as using Chrome Autofill to enter credit card information, but with an extra degree of protection. If you give a merchant your card number and they misuse it, you'll have to call your bank to get the charges reversed and your card cancelled, which is inconvenient at best. If you use Google's virtual cards, that won't happen, according to Bill Ready, Google's VP of commerce and payments, in an interview with The Verge. Each virtual card may only be used for one transaction at a time (though they do support recurring transactions if you want to use it for a subscription).

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Virtual card numbers also have a convenience factor, according to Ready: adding support for Google Pay or other third-party choices can be time-consuming for a vendor, but Google's Virtual Card Numbers can be used on any site that accepts credit cards. He further claims that if you use a virtual card, Google would "not charge anything," meaning that suppliers will not have to give up a portion of their revenues, and buyers will not have to disclose their credit card information.



It's not necessarily Google competing with services like Privacy.com, which allows you to create and use virtual cards all across the internet. Ready informed me that the new Google Wallet app will not provide an interface for managing virtual cards or anything similar (though the system can protect the cards you store there). They're designed to be utilised on a transaction-by-transaction basis, he added. While this limits the system's flexibility, it also means you don't have to worry about it: simply click the request to use a virtual card number and go.

To begin, Ready claimed you'll be able to hide Capital One cards using Chrome's Virtual Card Numbers. Visa, American Express, and Mastercard will also be supported by Google.