PayPal Shows Off Virtual Debit Card

Now this is a neat idea! PayPal is sending a select group of members to try out the Beta launch of PayPal Virtual Debit Card. What is a virtual debit card?

You can use PayPal Virtual Debit Card when making online purchases anywhere MasterCard is accepted. PayPal Virtual Debit Card generates a virtual card number each time you make a transaction online so you don’t have to use your personal debit or credit card number.

By generating a new virtual card number to use in place of your debit or credit card number, PayPal Virtual Debit Card helps protect your financial information every time you shop. It also saves you time by automatically filling in shipping in billing forms at checkout, protects you from fake eBay and PayPal websites, and offers zero liability on unauthorized purchases made from your account.

The virtual number is a MasterCard number used in place of your credit or debit card number. Each time you make a purchase from a website, a new number is generated. This avoids the problem of having the number stolen. Since it’s only good for one use, it doesn’t matter if someone steals it.

I wonder how Google will respond to this?

37 thoughts on “PayPal Shows Off Virtual Debit Card”

  1. Mavericko says:

    PayPal had this for about 3 years, now. They seem to be trying to rewamp the attention to it.
    Citi also had same service available for ages now.

  2. Michael Kwan says:

    Wouldn’t they run out of numbers eventually? I guess it wouldn’t matter if they reused a number, because it would have a different name attached?

  3. anon says:

    i hope this isn’t geographically discriminatory (USA only) like their normal debit card…bastards..

  4. Leftblank says:

    Looks like a nice way in order to be able to pay with your Paypal even though the site doesn’t directly support it.

    @Michael, if I’m right there are credit card numbers with 16 digits, should be plenty of options there.

    John, in the RSS feed this is still showing (or at least it is when I write this); “Advertisement: Review John Chow dot Com & Win a MiniTV Review my blog & get a free linkback plus a chance to win a MiniTV USB!”, even though the winner is already known πŸ˜‰

  5. A says:

    I’ve had this service through my bank for about 4 years now. In Sweden it’s called E-kort which means e-Card. I haven’t used it that much though, I think I’m a bit to lazy.

  6. Eliza says:

    Paypal is my favorite card, however not sure I’d get myself a virtual debit card. I’d love to hear some stories of those that have used it though, would make the decision that much easier.

  7. Justin says:

    Ya they have had it for a bit and now its getting attention. I dont think you can use it for a business account.

  8. HMTKSteve says:

    This is a great service and it is offered by companies other than PayPal.

    It’s just a throw-away credit card number.

    I have also heard of a service where you get a throw-away credit card number and you preset it’s spending limit. Good for giving to kids.

  9. Mubin says:

    Yea, its good for giving to kids, or for sites that you dont really want showing up on your cc bill…

    There are many companies in the states that provide this service. And in the uk we have entropay.

    But me I wouldnt touch paypal with a 10 foot stick, they are the worst company in the world especially if you have lots of money coming in their, have you ever heard of getting your account access limited? Its the worst experience in the world knowing your money is there but you cant touch it.

    John- WHy do the number of rss readers fluctuate so much? Last nite it was 800, and today its 1100.

  10. Dave says:

    PayPal has had SOMETHING like this for a few years now. The main difference being that the CC number is only for that one transaction.

  11. Tyler says:

    I have one of these cards. I’ve had it for a while too it nice to have when I want to withdraw my funds without having to have my banking information store in PayPal.

    Though with a PayPal account balance of 0 the card is useless πŸ˜‰ Guess I need to a) sell more on eBay, b) have people donate money to me or c) get more into offering my services of fixing website scripts πŸ™‚

  12. HMTKSteve says:

    I can’t stand PayPal.

    It used to be that if you paid from your PayPal balance PayPal took a smaller fee than if you paid by credit card. Now you get banged for the same high PayPal fee no matter where the money comes from!

  13. Andy says:

    Just another reason why i love PayPal so much

  14. nsusa says:

    I had this from American Express with my Blue Card for years. Glad to see others finally catching up and making online purchases more secure.


  15. Mike says:

    I don’t know why so many here are bashing PayPal. I have been using them for six years and I love their service.

    I also love the fact that I automatically earn 5% on the money that I have in my PayPal account. That is way more than my bank would offer me.

  16. HMTKSteve says:

    Mike –

    You keep money in your PayPal account? I transfer mine to my bank ASAP just in case PayPal decides to lock down my account for an investigation.

    As for earning 5%… I take it you have no debts that are above 5%?

    I have a mortgage and the finance charge is higher than 5% so it makes no sense to me to keep money in an account earning 5% when it’s costing me 6% on the mortgage.

    Granted I do keep about $10K in an emergency account as cash but…

  17. Gdog says:

    Even with all the PayPal bashing on the internet, I have yet to experience a “horrible” situation with PayPal (knock on wood). Trying to navigate their FAQ to contact someone is like trying to find your way out of a corn maze.

  18. Mubin says:

    Try keeping on hold with their national phone numbers here in the UK, its costs a FORTUNE!

  19. Alex Becker says:

    I think its a good idea. I want one.

  20. Andrew says:

    This is a great idea, I do all of my shopping online, but have always been slightly paranoid about security. I would pay a small fee for such as service..

  21. technomad says:

    I’ve never used Paypal for anything other than ebay and things like that. With this debit card, do they take a chunk every time I make a purchase, like they do when I buy anything else online?

  22. Tyler says:

    I’ve heard of the horror stories where Paypal closes someone’s account for something and holds on to their money.

    But I don’t use it all that offen (like maybe once a year) so I won’t have issues with that and my paypal balances are never in the hundreds anyway.


    C.R.E.A.M πŸ˜‰

  23. Eliza says:

    I definitely don’t have a savings, at least not yet. But must admit to having all my paypal money in most of the time, unless I need it to pay for some food, going out to eat or a cable/internet bill. Course paypal is also my business account, without this I couldn’t work because that’s the only way most of the people pay me. I haven’t had too many issues with paypal and the ones I have had were always in my favor thankfully.

  24. Andy says:

    I agree with HMTKSteve – I often take my $$$ out of PayPal as soon as possible

  25. Ed Lau says:

    I don’t know…Paypal is such a pain in the ass sometimes and I don’t think I want to give them another thing to screw up.

  26. Leftblank says:

    Tyler, there are indeed plenty of sties full of horror stories, though I haven’t had much trouble with Paypal myself yet, I’m not feeling completely comfortable with it either. One time a user donated to my by using my website, but apparently he claimed that I didn’t deliver my part of the deal and a Paypal employee removed the money from my account. But besides that it’s going ok, too bad they charge a lot of money for simply transferring it around.

  27. HMTKSteve says:

    My worst “horror” story in regards to PayPal was the following:

    In the early days of PayPal my wife signed up for an account using her email addy. We used the account for a little while and then we lost the password.

    Because the account had no money in it we just made a new one.

    One day, after an eBay auction, a buyer paid her using PayPal. Instead of using her current PayPal account she ended up paying to out former account, an account we no longer had access to!

    For some reason, PayPal would not allow us to reset the account’s password over the web, we had to call them up or send them a certified letter to regain access.

    It was a big pain to straigthen the whole mess out!

    I tried to get PayPal to merge the accounts but they would not. Because our checking account had changed over the years we also had to go through that process again to get the money out! Well, that or let PayPal take a cut if we transfered the funds between accounts…

    At this time my wife has a paypal account and I have one. We have them because we need rather than want them.

  28. Thilak says:

    I don’t think Google is going to respond to this move from PayPal

  29. I think it’s a great move by PayPal, they’re targeting a very topical niche in that people are very conscious about using cards online, now more than ever.

  30. Andy says:

    I never had a problem like that – I heard rumors that some people had some money randomly disappear? Anyone heard about this? Thats why I always withdraw quickly

  31. Tyler says:

    I had a buddy at work tell me about a paypal incident similar to the one above.

    He sold someone on eBay and had confirmation that the recepient received the goods but the recepient claimed he received nothing. Paypal withdraw the amount from my buddy and he got screwed.

    The recepient had the goods, and his money back and my buddy was left with zip!

  32. David Mackey says:

    I like this idea, though I’ve never had a problem with anyone stealing my credit card number. It seems like a lot of work to get a new number every time you want to buy something. PayPal will need to make some easy way to get these numbers – perhaps a PayPal extension that automatically logs in and generates the account.

  33. Sonia says:

    You may go ahead and use the card. I believe Google will not object πŸ™‚

    Every american should have a pile of debit and credit cards, the bigger – the better. First that and then also a Disneyland passport. Besides, if you look outside, debit cards are quite expensive for small vendors to process (approx. $150/month in fees) and they like CASH. Cash as in an old adage “In God we trust all others pay cash”.

  34. drew says:

    “I had this from American Express with my Blue Card for years.”

    I think Amex removed this service a couple years ago. Is it still available for anyone?

    Someone mentioned that Citi might still have something similar available. Does anyone have any details?

  35. adrian says:

    That’s an excellent idea. You never know who could be trying to steal your credit card number and it is probably easier than you think.

  36. Jane says:

    I wonder, how long before thiefs or hackers break into this form of commerce.

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