Banks Finally Pushing Disposable Credit Card Numbers

from the gotta-fight-fraud dept

It’s only taken them a few years, but it appears that banks and credit card companies are finally realizing that maybe (just maybe) it would be smart to promote their disposable credit card number offerings. Many have offered such services for a while, but most people still don’t know about them. They let online shoppers generate a “disposable” credit card number that can be used for a single-time purchase (or only in association with a single vendor), without fear that your actual credit card number will be exposed. If someone does get the number, it won’t work, since it’s already been disposed, or won’t be in association with the specific vendor. Still, as the article points out, American Express has gone in the other direction, and has shut down its own disposable credit card number program saying there are plenty of other security safeguards (there are?). Meanwhile, others like Privacy Inc. think that it shouldn’t be the banks that are managing your info anyway.

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Comments on “Banks Finally Pushing Disposable Credit Card Numbers”

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David says:


MBNA has this service… I used it a lot, but recently it has been screwing up more and more, where merchants accept the card number it generates at first, but then I get a call or email a few days later saying that while the authorization succeeded, the funds capture failed. Also, MBNA provides a list of merchants that simply won’t accept it – Amazon being primary on the list… how great is that?

Nonesuch (user link) says:


Citibank does this, and does a fair job of it. You can generate a simple “virtual account number” good for one transaction in one month, an account number with a limit, or a number good for up to one year.

They offer an installed application for Windows, or a Java applet for Mac (or a windows system where you are unable or unwilling to install an application). The software works with (most?) proxy firewalls.

I’ve only had a couple of online merchants reject the “virtual account number”, and in both cases their online payment form immediately refused to recognize it as valid.

AMetamorphosis says:

Re: Cost of doing business

Hey, if the credit card merchants don’t seem too worried about thief’s getting my credit card #’s … why should I ?

The truth is the credit card industry does not CARE if there is xxx amount of fraud a year. It is simply looked @ as a cost of doing business and you & I as the consumers pay for it in inflated finance charges.

Each person posting above has mentioned that retailers either won’t accept the #’s or they have had difficulties using them. The industry will continue to write off xxx amount a year as fraud & disposable credit card #’s will never take off.

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