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Q: Visa equivalent to AmEx private Payments exists? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Visa equivalent to AmEx private Payments exists?
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: spurious-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 29 Jan 2004 00:39 PST
Expires: 28 Feb 2004 00:39 PST
Question ID: 301339
Do any of the major credit cards generally accepted by internet
vendors (I guess Visa, Diners) offer a service equivalent to American
Express' "Private Payments" service where you can get a one-time card
number that can't be rebilled or otherwise used fraudulently?
Subject: Re: Visa equivalent to AmEx private Payments exists?
Answered By: alexander-ga on 29 Jan 2004 23:13 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
In addition to American Express' Private Payments service, Discover
offers a program called "Discover Deskshop" which can generate
single-use card numbers:

Unlike American Express and Discover, which issue their own credit
cards, Visa and Mastercard cards are issued by participating banks,
not the Visa or Mastercard associations.

Citibank is the only Visa/Mastercard issuer I could locate that offers
a single-use card number program, called "Virtual Account Numbers":

This page at has a quick overview of these three programs:

Search terms: "citibank virtual account numbers"
spurious-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
Thanks - Great answer!

Subject: Re: Visa equivalent to AmEx private Payments exists?
From: newenglander-ga on 25 Oct 2004 07:05 PDT
MBNA also offers a similar feature for their cards, it is called
ShopSafe and can be accessed from, if you
have an account with them.

Both MBNA and Citibank allows you to set an expiration date and a
credit limit. MBNA, Citibank and Discover permit only one merchant to
use the generated card number. Sometimes this causes problems when
initial payment is done by one merchant, but a subsequent payment is
processed with a slightly different spelling of merchant's name.

Discover does not allow you to set a limit or expiration date, instead
the generated card number is linked to your original card, which may
be more convenient for recurrent payments.

For all three companies a single use card number can be generated off
their web sites, or you can install small applications to your

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