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virtual credit card

A temporary credit card number that is used to make online purchases one time only or for a limited amount of time. Virtual credit cards such as Bank of America's ShopSafe and Citibank's Virtual Account Numbers provide extra security when giving out a card number over the Internet. See digital wallet.



digital wallet

(1) A smartphone app for making financial transactions in a retail store. See smartphone wallet, Bitcoin wallet and mobile payments service.

(2) A desktop app for making credit card purchases online. It eliminates entering shipping, billing and credit card data when a purchase is made at a website. The data either reside in the cloud or are encrypted in the user's computer, and the wallet's digital certificate identifies the cardholder. A digital wallet may also store insurance and loyalty cards, drivers' licenses, ID cards and site passwords. Some wallet apps let users enter additional data.

Merchant Wallets
In order to make ordering painless, large e-commerce sites such as Amazon.com have for years provided their own digital wallets by storing their customers' credit card data on their own servers.

The Wallet Renaissance
In the early days of the Web, people were skeptical about entering credit card data, and the electronic wallet was conceived to promote a secure e-commerce environment. Although millions submit their card data online without a wallet today, mobile payments may cause nearly everyone to have a digital wallet in the future (see smartphone wallet). See mobile payments service, Web payments service, eWallet, identity metasystem, information card, digital coins and Bitcoin wallet.




Automatic Fill-in-the-Forms
This earlier digital wallet saved the user's name, address and credit card data. When placing an order online, it filled in the forms. (Image courtesy of EntryPoint, Inc.)






An eWallet Card
Available for many years on all popular platforms, Ilium Software's eWallet stores all pertinent information for each credit card entered by the user. See eWallet. (Image courtesy of Ilium Software, Inc., www.iliumsoft.com)






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