Sunday, May 24, 2009

Virtual Credit Card Program, Citibank

Virtual Account Numbers: Shop online without your "real" Citi card number on the line.

Citibank has launched a virtual card program that many Citi cardmembers have wanted for a long time. The name of this service is Virtual Account Numbers.

The “Virtual Account Number” is a great feature for credit card companies who constantly aspire to be “first in wallet”.

Virtual Account Numbers are credit card numbers which are generated on the fly and can be used for online transactions. This is very helpful if you do not want to reveal your actual credit card number for online transactions. Because you never give out your real number, it stays safely in your wallet. The number can only be used by the single merchant, and only up to the amount you set. Perfect for those sites that want to charge you $9.95 for the first month and then rebill you every month until the second coming. I always assumed that these numbers are one-time use only. But with the Citibank Virtual Account Numbers, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that you can set up the numbers to be multiple use and also specify limits and expiration dates (up to 12 months in the future).

Need to provide a number for PayPal or DirecTV authorization, whereby they just need to verify address data? This is the way to go: just create one good for $4 or so, provide it to your merchant, and you need never worry about that number coming back to bite you in the butt.

There are 2 ways to access and use this helpful feature when you shop online:

1. Download the tool once to your computer to automatically generate an account number.

2. Launch it each time by signing on to Account Online and selecting the Virtual Account Numbers box in the upper right corner.

Where it works: Customers should not use Virtual Account Numbers when purchases require the presence of a physical credit card, such as the case for movie tickets bought online, says Rob Rosenblatt, Executive Vice President of Citi Cards.

“The Virtual Account Number technology can be used for any purchase that does not require an actual credit card plastic to be present. So, the technology can be used for online shopping as well as catalog shopping. Customers don’t have to give out their real credit card number over the phone, either,” Rosenblatt says.

Card companies are reporting that usage of virtual card numbers if very low and I think is mostly due to lack of public awareness. If your card company allows you to create a virtual card number, keep this in mind the next time you purchase something from an online merchant you wouldn’t exactly trust with your life. A virtual card number could save your butt, or at least save you a few bucks.

1 komentar: on June 18, 2009 at 4:28 PM said...

thanks for useful information.