Many of us either use or are familiar with PayPal – the premier way to pay for E-bay purchases. It’s also an easy way to pay someone for services–you just need their email address.
I recently learned that PayPal is offering a valuable and FREE service for those of us who are wary of giving up our credit card information when making an on-line purchase. Now, you can use PayPal’s handy Secure Card plug-in–it’s a small download and install. After installation, you’ll see a PayPal icon in your browser tool bar. If you’re at a site and you’ve found a really great deal on something, but you’ve never shopped there before, use PayPal’s plug-in. It will generate for you a one-time credit card number to pay for the purchase. This way, your own credit card is never displayed and you are 100% protected by PayPal from an unauthorized purchase.
The nitty gritty:
- this plug-in can be used ONLY with sites that accept MasterCard
- there is a limit of $1,000 per day
- you pay for your purchase with your PayPal balance, if that balance is zero, the secondary source is usually your bank account. If I’m a first-time buyer at a website, I don’t mind giving up my frequent flier miles and a 30-day grace period before paying my credit card bill.
Some handy features:
- Auto-fill – the on-line forms can be filled out for you
- On-line history and receipts of your purchases
- Alerts from PayPal if you come upon a fraudulent website
- You can use a number multiple times at the same website
Below is a screenshot from the website that shows purchase history.
Generate new cards or view old cards
1 This notifier appears when you’re shopping.
2 Use the plug-in to see all the Secure Cards you’ve generated. You can:
- Generate new cards.
- Change expiration dates.
- Close cards.
There are several credit card companies that will issue you a single-use number – Citibank and Discover are two of them. Contact your credit card company to see if they might offer this service. It’s to their advantage to offer something like this. Neither the banks or we want to go through the hassle of cleaning up the mess of someone stealing our credit card numbers. You can read about it here.