Chrome adds a virtual credit card number to keep your physical credit card secure.

Google today announced that the Chrome browser will provide the ability to use virtual credit card numbers for online payment forms on the web. This virtual card number allows you to keep your ‘real’ credit card number secure when making purchases online. This is because if the merchant system is hacked, it can be easily revoked. Many credit card issuers already offer these virtual credit card numbers, but they’re likely far less mainstream than they really should be.

Image Credit: Google /

Google says these virtual cards will launch in the US later this summer. Mastercard support is expected later this year, as Google is working with major networks like Visa and American Express that will be supported at launch, as well as two card issuers such as Capital One, a launch partner for the feature. Getting support from the network is definitely a big deal here. That’s because it’s a daunting task to get all individual card issuers involved.

New features will be available first in Chrome on desktop and Android, iOS support coming later.

“This is a significant step in bringing the security of virtual cards to as many consumers as possible,” said Arnold Goldberg, Google’s Vice President and General Manager of Payments. “Shoppers using Chrome on desktop and Android can enjoy a fast checkout experience with peace of mind knowing that their payment information is protected when shopping online.”

From a user’s point of view, this new auto-complete option simply requires you to enter the details of your virtual card, including the CVV you’ll never remember for the physical card. You will then be able to manage your virtual card and view your transactions. These virtual cards are typically used for one-time purchases, but can also be used for subscriptions.

Since this is Google, some users will obviously be concerned that the company will use this additional data about your buying habits, but Google says it will not use this information for ad targeting purposes.


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