Payments

Google debuts a new virtual card feature for Chrome Autofill

It could help retailers ensure faster checkout and lower cart-abandonment rates.
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Google

· less than 3 min read

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Good news for those who just can’t seem to memorize their credit-card number. Google announced yesterday that it’s rolling out virtual card numbers (VCNs), a new online checkout feature for Chrome Autofill.

It converts credit-card numbers into a different, distinct number, so the actual info isn’t shared with the merchant, which should keep it safe and sound in the case of a leak.

  • VCNs are available for US Chrome desktop and Android users, noted Rajiv Appana, ​​who leads product for Google Pay. Capital One cardholders are up first, he added, followed by Visa, American Express, and Mastercard.

On the safe side: Appana told Retail Brew that the company hopes to address consumer fears of being “a little bit skittish” about sharing their info on the open web, particularly to smaller merchants. This is especially true for older generations who moved their shopping online during the pandemic, he noted.

“This complete new generation of folks who have never actually participated in online commerce now want to do that,” he said. “Now, they are looking for more secure ways to transact online.”

For each transaction, Appana said Google changes something about it. Through Capital One, for example, it creates a whole new number for every online merchant.

  • The retailer itself doesn’t have to do any integration. And opting in for consumers is a one-step process, though Google is adding features to validate card ownership.

Pay it forward: Appana said retailers should see faster checkouts with this tool. Since it eliminates the need to input a CVV—preventing that inevitable dash to grab your wallet from the other room—they should also see lower cart-abandonment rates.

  • It’s the latest step in Google’s goal to “reimagine how people pay digitally and online,” Appana said. Over the past six months, Google Pay has introduced the ability for merchants to create an online storefront, plus voice payment and bill-splitting tech.

+1: Beauty-box and meal-kit lovers won’t be left out; Appana said recurring subscriptions will still work with VCNs.—EC

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