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Google to Add Chrome Feature That Allows Users Generate Virtual Card Numbers

Google has announced that it is adding a feature to its Chrome browsers to allow users generate virtual card numbers which will let you hide your credit or debit card number while making purchases on the web.

Called virtual cards, the feature stores details such as credit card numbers, expiration dates and CVV security codes in the browser or Android device.

The information is accessed using the Chrome browser’s Autofill function to choose a stored payment card.

According to Google, the feature will make it easy to securely buy things on sites that don’t support options like Google or Apple Pay.

Google says the virtual cards will launch in the U.S. later this summer. The new feature will be available on Chrome on desktop and Android first, with iOS support rolling out later.

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

From the user perspective, this new autofill option will simply enter the virtual card’s details for you, including the CVV that you can never remember for your physical cards, and then you can manage the virtual cards and see your transactions at pay.google.com.  While these virtual cards are typically used for one-time purchases, you will also be able to use these cards for subscriptions.

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