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Credit Cards

Capital One Introduces Disposable Credit Card Numbers

Capital One Introduces Disposable Credit Card Numbers
Jennifer Billock

Capital One has launched a new service that provides as many virtual credit card numbers as a customer requests—the multiple numbers are an attempt to fight credit card fraud and give shoppers more confidence when purchasing goods online.

Capital One wants to do away with dedicated credit card numbers for each customer. Instead, the company plans to give customers as many credit card numbers as they request, each to be used in a purpose-driven way—whether it’s to make a purchase from a site that seems a little sketchy, or to use a specific card number for each retailer customers shop with. Along the way, this effort will help prevent damage to peoples’ accounts in the event of data breaches.

Tom Poole, Capital One’s senior vice president for payments and identity, told One World Identity that the numbers will be “mission-purpose.” Each vendor the customer shops with will have their own dedicated credit card number, all tied back to the same account.

Poole noted this will help make things easier for customers in a variety of ways. It will alleviate the need to worry about a stolen card, because you’ll be able to cancel that number right away—and then you won’t have to worry about re-entering card information for every online company you’re buying from.

With this system, customers have more control over who gets their information and when, bringing a higher comfort level to people concerned about buying online. And fraud will be less of an issue; if a data breach gets one credit card number, it likely won’t be the main account number and can easily be cancelled.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (5)


  1. emilio911

    March 22, 2018 at 6:06 am

    this is a copy of

  2. am1108

    March 22, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    Nothing new here to see folks. Bank of America has had ShopSafe for at least 5 years now.

  3. oopsz

    March 23, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Citi and BoA both offer virtual account numbers (VANs). Discover and Amex used to but discontinued that service.

  4. AlastairGordon

    March 24, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    I’ve been using this service on my Citi Mastercard (“Virtual Account Numbers”) for years. As well as being useful for online purchases from unfamiliar retailers, this service is great for “free trials” where you need to supply a credit card number that will only be charged if you don’t cancel. You can supply a Virtual Account Number to get the free trial started then immediately close out the number, then you will not be charged if you forget to cancel the trial.

  5. scfw0x0f

    March 29, 2018 at 7:00 am

    The problem with BofA’s VANs is that when one was compromised, they cancelled the physical card as well. Had it happen to me a couple of times.

    The proposed new system seems to rely heavily on a browser plug-in, which may be more convenient and intrusive than existing VANs (easier to use, but allows tracking searches and details of purchases, maybe?)

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