Safely Paying online (without giving away your major bank card details) (1.02)
This article is from the book “Meditation and the book of Time and Life Management (version 1.0) -by Norbert Szentkereszti (2015)” (To read the whole book online visit book1.vr2b1.org or subscribe here and get the pdf edition for free.)
If you’re not comfortable paying online with your major credit card but you want to have a virtual VISA or a MASTER card that you can use for paying online you’ve got 4 options to choose from to avoid giving away your major bank card data. Please note that your bank account data will be visible for the virtual card provider companies, but I think they cannot really use that information especially if your bank account is not connected to the internet or if you receive every time an SMS (with an authorization code for the actual transaction) whenever you want to make a purchase, or whenever you want to transfer money. This authorization however is missing from every bank card transaction (where you have to enter you bank card data), and it can be problematic if you subscribed for a service and you pay your monthly fee with your bank card, because if you unsubscribe they might forget to cancel your subscription…
1) So if the only way to pay for the product is by using a bank card, you can sign up for an online virtual VISA/Master card, which you can top up with wire transferring money to that card from your bank account. (Entropay.com) The advantage of that virtual card if you don’t often pay online is that you won’t have any yearly costs. (Don’t put too much money on your virtual account if you opt for this method.)
2) You can also create a PayPal account which you can top up by transferring money from your bank account to your PayPal account. The problematic part can be when you register on PayPal that sometimes the site requires by new registrations to enter your a credit card number. You can bypass this step currently, by simply deleting the actual page link on your browser, and replacing it with www.paypal.com in your browser and clicking on the new link. If that does not work, than you cannot create a PayPal account without giving your major credit card. On the other hand you can buy a normal bank card for a few weeks, and when you got your card, you can make your PayPal registration, and after the registration you can cancel your bank account to save on the monthly costs.
If you managed to create those accounts by the above mentioned 2 sites (but also on other such-like sites) you transfer your money from you major bank account (not from your bank card) to a bank account which will be given by the 2 sites, and you will additionally get a personal reference number, and according to that reference number the bank or the service provider will allocate that sum to your actual account after they received the transfer. That number is your identifier by the service provider and it is extremely important to enter in the given (usually to the comment) field while sending the money. Transferring money to that account might have certain fees usually 3-5%, but it can be costless if you can transfer money without any fee, and the provider won’t deduct from the amount they receive. (So as I already said as far as Entropay and PayPal (and other similar sites) are concerned I don’t think it is a good idea to attach your actual bank card to the virtual cards and accounts, although this option is also available, but if you have lots of money on your account might not be a good idea…) As an alternative you can attach those numbers, but later after the registration I would advice you to remove the card… Naturally if you use the wire transferring way it usually takes 2-5 days to get the amount on those accounts, but I think this is a safer method, especially since by PayPal you have to enter additionally your password to the account… (It’s also a new trend that websites require to enter your phone number upon registration. What I don’t like about this service that it is not optional, but it is usually requirement. Usually this can be also bypassed if you register for a free online phone number, where you can also receive an SMS or if you buy an offline phone number where you don’t even have to enter your personal data… -so much about verification.)
3) Certain banks offer additional to your normal bank account and bank-card a virtual card attached to a virtual bank account, where you can transfer money from your normal bank account. These transactions are usually online transactions with SMS confirmation. The advantage is that when you have to pay you online with credit card you will enter the virtual card data, and that card will only contain as much money that you transferred from your normal bank account. Usually the transaction between your normal and virtual bank account is costless, so if you have money on your virtual account you can transfer back to your normal account.
4) The 4th method is if you open a bank account with a card that can be used for online payment, and you will only use this account to pay online, which means that before a purchase you pay the purchasing price onto your account. The backside is that the account has a monthly fee, probably your bankcard will also have a yearly cost, and it takes a bit time to go to your bank, and pay in the sum. On the other hand if you live in the UK, this 2nd account would be free of charge with a VISA card at least in 2016, but hopefully it will stay like this forever.
In general I would say, that always opt for banks that offer you the (usually free) SMS authorization process, and before you enter the authorization code in the indicated field always check and compare the account numbers which is in your received SMS to the account number where you want to send your money. Additionally to all of these, I think the way currently our credit cards are handled online is something that should be greatly improved, since if someone get our credit card, and wrote down all the account details, they can pay with your card online, without you recognize the fact, since the card is by you physically. Naturally you can subscribe by your bank to an SMS service where you will receive an SMS after every transaction, but usually that is not a common practice that is followed by people. So if you pay off-line in a shop, never give those cards which you can use to pay online to the shop assistant or e.g.: to the waiter for a longer period of time. On the other hand I would rather not tell any ideas how people can get those numbers even if it looks like a normal payment process… The best way is probably to use a tape to stick down the verification code (which is a 3 or 4 digit code usually at the back of your card) or to make that code black with a marker (after you wrote down that code in case you want to use the card for online payment)… I think signing a paper after a purchase (and having a pin-code free purchase) is a joke, since your signature is at the back of the card, which I think every idiot can learn -and usually the actual signature doesn’t even match to the card…
An other method of protecting your money is to have a saving account attached to your account since this account type usually comes without a card. If you have the saving account transfer most of your money there and have only as much money as you need for a few weeks ahead on your account that has card attached to it. If you are in a position don’t apply for overdraft -it’s usually too expensive and the interest rates are enourmos if you are in the negative.
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