Have you ever had your credit card information stolen?may help protect you during in-person transactions, but they can’t keep you safe during online or phone purchases. Replacing a compromised credit card can be difficult and stressful, especially when you know your entire credit may be at risk. Though you can always after the fact, there’s something you can do now to help prevent identity theft.
Enter virtual credit cards. These are temporary, disposable digital credit cards designed for online or over-the-phone purchases. When you use a virtual card to make a purchase, the payment recipient can only access and store the information of that temporary card, not your actual credit card account number. This protects your account from exposure in the case of a data breach and adds an additional layer of security to your online transactions.
Most card issuers don’t directly offer the ability to generate virtual account numbers, or virtual credit cards, right from your account. But apps and browser extensions like Click To Pay, Masterpass by MasterCard, American Express Go and Capital One Eno all provide virtual card options for more secure purchases on many popular credit cards.
Click To Pay is a joint venture launched by Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover designed to serve as a unifying service to provide more secure online transactions. It’s a virtual card solution that supports cards issued by many different credit companies, including all the partner companies backing the project. That means it serves as a replacement for individual virtual card services including Visa Checkout, Mastercard’s Masterpass and American Express’ Express Checkout.
To enroll in Click To Pay, you have to go through your card issuer and sign up for the service. Once your card is made eligible for the virtual card feature, you’ll be able to use it at any online retailer that offers the Click To Pay option at checkout. If you’re purchasing online, you should be able to select the Click To Pay option and simply log in to your account. Click To Pay will take care of the rest by generating a temporary card to complete the transaction. While Click To Pay doesn’t offer much control and isn’t available at all retailers, several big-box stores and other noteworthy sellers have adopted it as an option.