Posted November 19, 2007 12:54 pm by with 13 comments

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PayPal has partnered with MasterCard to release the PayPal Secure Card. It’s a virtual credit card that generates a unique credit card number for each online transaction. Nothing new here, except as of tomorrow you can download software so you can easily use the service on any site, regardless if they accept Paypal or not. PayPal has been testing the feature with 3 million of its customers this past year.

To the merchant it looks like any other credit card payment, but the funds actually come out of the customer’s PayPal account. It offers a lot of convenience for customers. Your information is stored with your PayPal account so you won’t have to fill out a new form with every purchase. That’s a feature that Google Checkout has had over PayPal – without requiring a download.
How it Works

Mashable’s Mark ‘Rizzn’ Hopkins was a beta tester and described how it works (I found myself wanting a video showing me, but after a search on YouTube and PayPal’s web site, I settled on a written description):

  1. Install the PayPal software which includes a PayPal icon on your desktop.
  2. Click the icon when you want to buy something online and you get a randomly generated credit card number that is connected to your PayPal account.
  3. Your shipping and billing information is stored with your account so you don’t have to fill it out for each online merchant you visit.

No word on if you can earn points, percentages, or other rewards on purchases. And there have been some problems mentioned, like how difficult it is to remove unauthorized charges from merchants. It sounds like there are still some issues to work out on the customer service end.