Chrome to Add Support for Virtual Card Numbers (VCN)

Google is working on adding virtual card numbers(VCN) support to Chrome for Android. Are they temporary cards for privacy or gift cards?

Virtual Card Numbers (VCN)

The Chrome team has added a new experimental flag to Chrome for Android.

Offer merchant bound virtual cards in Autofill: When enabled, Autofill will offer to use merchant bound virtual cards in payment forms.

The code change request has some more details, but not much.

“Add flags for the virtual card numbers(VCN) project We add the AutofillAutoTriggerManualFallbackForCards and AutofillEnableStickyManualFallbackForCards as we plan to roll out those features for regular cards in addition to the VCN. The AutofillSuggestVirtualCardsOnlyOnFullFormDetection to force conservative behavior if needed.”

Now, the question is, is this gift cards or temporary credit card numbers generated to stop fraud?

Looking up virtual card numbers on the web brings up two definitons. One is the regular gift cards that we are familar with. A merchant issues a gift card virtually, which means it has numbers but no physical card. The user can use the card number to make a purchase in the store or online.

The next possibility is more interesting. As an online security measure, you generate an alias card number during an online transaction. This proxy number will be shared with the merchant keeping the real credit card number safe.

If this new Chrome flag is for the second type, temporary card numbers for online transactions, that’s big news. Apple currently offers such a feature for Apple cards.

Are we looking at an Apple-like feature here? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Source: Chromium Gerrit.

2 responses to “Chrome to Add Support for Virtual Card Numbers (VCN)”

  1. I currently use for this purpose. This seems like Google is trying to get into banking.

  2. I believe it’s the second of your conjectures. Apple has this feature as you stated. So does Paypal. I generated one recently in my PayPal account. As Google is making moves into payments and banking this is only proper and expected.

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