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Disposable Credit Cards

Following the American Express single-use credit card number announce last summer, the largest independent credit card issuer in the world announced an agreement that allows its 45 million card customers to take advantage of Internet shopping without revealing their credit card numbers to merchants.

MBNA Corporation, the bank holding company parent of MBNA American Bank, NA, will offer the service, which was generated by Orbiscom Technology, a software developer. It creates a disposable credit card number. To shop, customers download software from the bank's Web site. The software allows them to generate one-time-only numbers that can be used to buy merchandise on e-retailers' sites. The numbers work like credit card numbers, but only the customer and the bank know the actual credit card number, which never travels the Internet.

Discover Takes The Single-Use System To The Next Level
Over the holidays, Discover Card entered the single use credit card picture through an Internet shopping program that could be significant because of the number of potential customers and the growing popularity of shopping online.

Like with other single use programs, cardholders who participate shop by using a single use number so that a merchant doesn't know the true credit card number and that account number doesn't have to go out over the wires.

Unlike with other programs, however, a user does not have to leave the merchant's site to create the number and it can be used at that site once or more times for recurring charges, such as fees from the Internet service provider or payment for backordered items.

Users download free software to use the system. That software automatically creates a pop-up icon on the order forms of merchant sites that accept the card. By clicking on that icon, a user can create a number and automatically fill out the form with shipping information. The software also makes transactions simpler by giving the user the option of storing all user names and passwords for any particular merchant Web site so that they are readily available at time of purchase.

First published on 01/01/2001

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