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Alternatives To Paypal's Virtual Credit Card Service? 242

An anonymous reader writes "Paypal has quietly killed the Paypal plugin and the related virtual-card service. The service generated on-the-fly, one-time-use credit card numbers. When I called in and inquired about the service, I was told that the service has been discontinued, but may be relaunching something similar depending on interest. They are treating inquiries as a sort of petition, taking down names and contact info. The forums seem to be a lost cause, as no Paypal reps have replied to the numerous posts regarding virtual cards being discontinued. Does anyone know of a good alternative source of one-time-use credit card numbers?"
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Alternatives To Paypal's Virtual Credit Card Service?

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  • by dicobalt ( 1536225 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @02:09AM (#33099668)
    I can vouch for the Citibank virtual numbers, I have been using it for years. It even works with recurring charges for up to 1 year. You specify the max amount to be drawn over the year. sometimes chokes up when using it but I have never had problems anywhere else.
  • by MoeDumb ( 1108389 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @02:13AM (#33099688)
    And I can vouch for Bank of America's ShopSafe. Have used it for years without a hiccup. Discover Card's equivalent seems a bit harder to navigate for some reason.
  • by Distan ( 122159 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @02:23AM (#33099730)

    The general patent to do virtual credit card numbers is held by Orbiscom. They are the provider of most of the Credit Card vendor's solutions: Citi, Discover, BoA, etc.

  • Entropay (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DamonHD ( 794830 ) <> on Sunday August 01, 2010 @02:28AM (#33099748) Homepage

    See []

    Disclaimer: I'm biased as I was one of the founders!



  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @02:31AM (#33099758)

    Is there a way you can get a virtual account number with multiple physical cards issued against the same CC account?

    Of course, optimally would be a physical card that changes its own magstripe, based on you typing a code and a mnemonic identifying the vendor.

    Online shopping may be risky... However, offline shopping can involve the same risks.

    Old fashioned physical theft by employees is a real possibility, especially in restaurants where your physical CC leaves your sight. While the cashier is behind the counter, you have no idea they are running your card through a hidden skimmer.

    Also, big companies store CC information in their computer systems nowadays, just like online stores do.

    Virtual account numbers are nice, and solve one problem, but they aren't comprehensive.

    Especially if you use the physical CC associated with the same account you have virtual numbers against. If your physical CC gets lost, the thief can make unlimited charges against your entire account, and when you get it cancelled, suddenly you can't use your virtual accounts based on that card anymore either......

    So are there more comprehensive solutions? :)

  • [USA only] (Score:3, Interesting)

    by krischik ( 781389 ) <krischik.users@sourceforge@net> on Sunday August 01, 2010 @03:04AM (#33099820) Homepage Journal

    Well, this looks like USA only products. Paypal services are world wide.

  • by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @03:07AM (#33099832) Journal
    "I've had what I consider a very bad experience with Paypal and now I only use them begrudgingly if I have no other alternative."

    I've had more "very bad experiences" with Paypal than you can shake a stick at, watching them steal thousands of my dollars over the years using various excuses, and of course they won't provide any evidence as to why I owed them the money. Unfortunately I still use them because they are the only ones. They have the easiest website integration, thousands of programmers know how to setup advanced shopping carts and customers trust them. There's nothing I can do.

    I seriously considered google shopping cart but apparently there's just as many complaints again them and there's no 800 number for customer service, everything is by email.

    If anyone knows an alternative to Paypal that customers trust please let me know.
  • by Zemran ( 3101 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @03:09AM (#33099840) Homepage Journal

    I find Paypal completely unusable as they freeze my account every time I use it. I am always traveling (currently in Kazakhstan) and each time I access the account they see my access as unauthorised because I am in a different country and they freeze my account until I re-authorise it by jumping through a series of hoops. I have spoken to people and complained but they are unable to see my moving around as normal for me. One time, whilst in Azerbaijan, I transferred some money from my bank account to pay for something and they froze the account with my money trapped in the Paypal account and I had to wait until I returned home (several months later) to release the money as they wanted me to be able to check the amount of a couple of payments they make into my bank account. I felt like they had stolen from me. How many unauthorised users pay money into the account? I could not use my money to pay for what I wanted to buy and had to use an actual credit card. Now I just accept that they are rubbish and I have to use actual credit cards.

  • by TheEyes ( 1686556 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @03:53AM (#33099940)

    More to the point, it's the credit card company's money that is gone, so they are a lot more proactive about hunting down fraud. Most banks don't give a flying crap if someone drains your account of $5,000, but if someone charges $100 at a gas station on another person's card the company is quick to nullify the charge. They usually don't even charge to stop payment, unlike the banks who've been getting really creative with fees lately.

  • Virtual Visa (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tru3ntropy ( 1632547 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @04:16AM (#33099992)
    I use virtual visa card [] dont know if it works in America but it was the only thing i could find at the time. Instead of giving you a one time card number it allows you you to deactivate and reactive the number any time.
  • by PiSkyHi ( 1049584 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @04:30AM (#33100016)

    I was refused an AMEX card a fee years ago because 7 years prior to that I lost a mobile phone on a contract. At the time I had a very small income and the loss of the phone forced the network to demand payment of the entire remaining 14 months contract period in 1 month. I could not pay. What's funny is this didn't stop me gaining credit with other banks. At the time of rejection I had around 27,000 AUD in credit from different banks and an excellent payment histroy with no debt.

    Actually, I think that's why they rejected me, because I was using the initial no interest for 6 months balance transfer option to borrow nearly the full amount of a new credit card and put into a savings account for that time. It gave me a good credit history and made me money at the same time. I was also offered limit increases.

    AMEX probably would have ignored the 7 year old default if it wasn't for my lack of debt. They only want interest payers. Not system abusers

  • by iammani ( 1392285 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @04:40AM (#33100042)
    Amazon Payments is a good alternative. Google (as in Google Checkout) has always have had customer service problems, but in terms of easy of web integration and shopping cart setup, I would rank them pretty much on par with paypal.
  • Re:Discover card (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 01, 2010 @05:07AM (#33100108)

    DISCLAIMER: I work for Discover in IT and know the guys that implement and support this functionality.

    The Discover system is pretty straight-forward. You just log into the site and request a temporary number. I personally use it on a lot of my online's simple and easy to use. Why use your real number?

  • Re:Entropay (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ygslash ( 893445 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @05:15AM (#33100120) Journal

    See []
    Disclaimer: I'm biased as I was one of the founders!

    This looks like a great service - the best that I've seen in this topic, among those that don't require an existing account at a specific bank.

    Here are several other pre-paid card services that are designed for youth accounts, but can be used as a plain pre-paid card as well:

    • PayJr []
    • Allow Card []
    • Prepaid cards [] of various kinds directly from Visa, supported by at least 30 different banks (see drop-down lists on site)
    • USAA Federal Savings Bank [] (requires USAA membership - really, really worth it if you qualify)
  • Neteller (Score:3, Interesting)

    by _Shad0w_ ( 127912 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @05:58AM (#33100242)

    I use NETELLER [] for times I need to use a card to buy stuff on the net, which is usually when they don't accept PayPal.

  • by SpzToid ( 869795 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @07:04AM (#33100370)

    All I can do is mention since a friend in the CC industry suggested this fairly recently, towards a charity we're both involved in. Aside from this suggestion to research on my own for our own purposes, I have nothing else to offer you except this simple mention.

  • by JamesP ( 688957 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @07:56AM (#33100502)

    You're right, EXCEPT for the multitude of places that DON'T take cash (as of course I found out the hard way)

    - Hotel rooms
    - Car rental places

    And I mean, not even "ok, can I pay with cash what I owe then you put your hold, whatever, in the CC??" "no."

  • by CrashandDie ( 1114135 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @08:21AM (#33100574)

    The UK being the big exception. I always refer to "mainland Europe" when I talk about the banking industry, considering that the UK (and I expect Ireland, but never checked) is roughly the same as the US when it comes to credit cards.

    When I first arrived to the UK, it took me about 6 months before my bank (HSBC) trusted me with a credit card. I was making in excess of 30k GBP a year (first job), and never had any overdraft. I did have a whole lot of working expenses (consultant, so travelling around the world), hence I really had to juggle.

    Then when my CC came, I was in heaven. I could sweat out a couple of grand on travel, hotels and other expenses if required, and not worry about paying extra. Having on average a small month to repay it meant I could do my expenses with relative ease of mind, and never pay interest.

    I still have about 8 credit cards (even though I don't live in the UK anymore, they never shut down the accounts), and I've only had to pay interest twice. Once because in Australia the UK debit cards don't work in all ATMs (and neither do they work in most shops), and I had to take out some cash (which means automatic and immediate interests), and once because I bought an expensive bike, and I made the conscious decision to pay it off in 2 months.

    Why do I have so many cards? Because in the UK, they're free. Everyone and their brother will give you a credit card if you have a good history (and mine is pretty good now). I have one for food, one for vehicle expenses, one for eating out, one for travel, two for company expenses, etc. This allows me to get the bills and just put them in folders easily. I don't have to go over one big bill, just a handful of small bills that are all very specific.

    As with everything, if you're smart about it, credit cards can be extremely helpful. You just need to put a few sliding appointments in your agenda (28 days, if you're lucky your wife or girlfriend can remind you to pay the bills when she gets cranky) and pay on time. Also, don't spend more than you earn, and budget, budget, budget.

    Don't buy something on impulse. Research it, spend 10 minutes on the internet to understand if it's a good buy, what is the next best item (even if it's more expensive, just to get a feeling of the price gap), etc. Most people can live a very healthy and luxurious life if they just think about money, rather than putting their head in the sand.

    Added bonus? If shit hits the fan, I've got about 40 grand worth of credit card I can use. That, plus the savings I have.

  • by shadowofwind ( 1209890 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @09:59AM (#33100886)

    You could try contacting your state attourney general. Paypal gave our money back ($1200) when the Ohio attourney general inquired on our behalf. The Washington attourney general seemed interested also, calling us a couple of times, and it appeared likely they would have done something if Ohio hadn't first.

  • by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @02:03PM (#33102152) Journal
    I've never heard of them and I doubt my customers have either.

    I see from their website that they offer a online payment gateway which is nice but I actually don't want customers to enter credit cards on my website.

    I know that sounds strange, but the reason is no one trusts the internet unless you're,, etc. If you're they're not going to want to put their credit card number on your website no matter what great price or product you offer. By using Paypal or Google Checkout or Amazon Payments I'm sending the customers to a website they do trust and they are familiar with and they will give them their credit card number.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.