The internet-payments-king is set to officially launch a new Secure Card service tomorrow. Thanks to a deal with MasterCard PayPal will be able to generate a “temporary” credit card number for each of your payments so that you won’t have to give away any private information.
The software apparently works only on Windows and puts a small credit-card icon in your task-bar. Whenever you feel like generating a new card all you have to do is double-click on the icon and a new window will pop up with all the details you need (ie number, expiration data, CVV). The software for windows also goes to all the trouble of automatically filling in any ecommerce form you may be presented – this, obviously, only if you use IE.
“From a merchant’s perspective this looks like any other MasterCard transaction,” said Chris George, director of financial products for PayPal. “And it’s just another PayPal purchase to the customer.”
This is PayPal’s answer to the Google checkout system, which tries to make you shopping online easy by directly storing your personal details and automatically authorizing payments with partner merchants. My vote goes to PayPal, and apparently most people agree with me if we look at the data.
In the third quarter ended September, transactions through Web merchants grew 61 percent to $5.38 billion from a year ago, while overall PayPal transaction volume grew 34 percent to $12.22 billion over the same period.
The idea is absolutely great and they have apparently been testing it in private-beta mode for about a year.
The quirk, oh yeah, there is one. As I said before, the software is for windows, with IE plugin. Redmond says thank you.
I say WTF. I am a mac/linux user, can’t you just see your way clear to give me full access to the service? You are a web company. Born and grown on the web, why do you start developing client applications in 2007?