When you pay for something online, you are putting your financial and personal details at risk. No matter which form of payment you use, there is always a risk, and there is no way for you (the consumer) to know just how big or small the risk is. The sheer number of massive hacks and leaks over the last ten years is proof enough that we have no idea how safe our payment information really is. Privacy.com adds another layer of privacy. Every time you use your credit card, it generates a brand new set of details, and you use the new details to pay instead of your real payment details. It is like paying with a disposable credit card. Privacy.com allows you to generate new payment details that you can use to buy things online, and they call it, “Creating a virtual credit card.”
How Does It Work?
Create a Privacy.com account. Add in a credit card in the same way you would add a credit card into PayPal. When you use PayPal, Skrill, or online wallets, you add in a credit card or debit card from which your payment funds are drawn/taken. You link these cards to your PayPal account so that when you use PayPal you may pay with money from the linked cards. You add your credit cards and debit cards to Privacy.com in the same way you add credit/debit cards to your PayPal, Skrill, online wallet accounts.
When you pay with PayPal, the money is taken from your credit card, debit card, or bank account, it is passed through the PayPal system, and it is sent to the seller. The same thing happens when you use Privacy.com; Money is drawn from your credit card, debit card, or your bank account, and Privacy.com passes it through their system and on to the seller.
The difference between PayPal and Privacy.com is the way that both of them operate. Instead of you entering an email address and password, Privacy.com generates a new set of payment details. The payment details (card number, name, etc.) are entered into the seller’s website. You may use these payment details (your virtual credit card) just one time and then never it again, or you may create virtual credit cards that you use repeatedly.
What Is The Point Of All This Hassle?
If you put your credit card details into a website, there is a chance that the seller, a hacker, or one of the admin staff may steal and reuse your credit card details. If you use Privacy.com, then somebody else cannot reuse your details because they no longer exist because the details you entered are disposable.
To save time, some people will generate a different virtual credit card for every website they use. For example, you may buy from Amazon with the payment details that you generated with Privacy.com, and then you may keep those details on the system and use your new details again, or you may generate a new set of details the next time you use Amazon.
If The Payment Details Are Reusable, What Is The Point?
It is like having a credit card for each website you use, which makes it slightly harder to rip you off. Plus, you may set spending limits and freezes on each set of payment details you create. When you create new payment details, they call it a virtual credit card.
Let’s say that you sign up with eBay. They want you to add a payment method, so you figure you will add a credit card. You go to Privacy.com and create new payment details (a virtual card) that you may easily cancel or dispose of when you are done with it. Now, let’s assume that you only use eBay to buy vitamin-C enriched rabbit food, and you know that you only spend a maximum of $35 per month on eBay. In that case, you can set a spending limit through Privacy.com so that those payment details are frozen if you (or somebody else) tries to spend more than $35 per month on eBay.
How Does Privacy.com Make Its Money
According to PC World, Privacy.com makes its money by taking a cut from the interchange fees that merchants pay to Visa and the banks. It is always a good idea to find out how a “Free” service is making its money because you would be a fool to accept a free lunch.
Many times, if you are able to track down how a company is making money, then you can track down the catch or trick. If there is no obvious way that a company is making money, then there is probably a scam involved. It is just like this morning when I got an email saying that I may, “Test and keep the new Samsung 9.” Why and how would the marketing company behind that email make its money from sending a free phone to me (Joe Nobody)?
What puzzles me is that merchants pay a fee to Visa or the banks when you use a credit card, so why are they also paying a cut of it to Privacy.com? Why would Visa or the banks allow Privacy.com to take a cut of their payments? Nevertheless, that is how Privacy.com makes its money.
Frozen Virtual Cards Are No Big Deal
If your regular credit card is frozen for security (or other) reasons, then getting it unfrozen is often difficult and annoying. When you create a new set of payment details with Privacy.com (aka, when you create a virtual credit card), then there in nothing to worry about if your new payment details (your virtual credit card) is frozen because you can dispose of that virtual card and create a new one in less than a minute.
Why Would We Use Privacy.com When PayPal Exists?
Use your Privacy.com account with your real credit card linked in to your account, and generate a brand new set of credit card details that you enter into the website or that you give to the seller. With PayPal, you log-in via the PayPal checkout, and you can pay in whatever way you wish (including going through the PayPal system, with credit cards, or whatever).
When you use Privacy.com, you are not giving your details away, and when you use PayPal, you are not giving your details away. Frankly, there is no reason why you cannot use both methods to pay your bills, pay sellers or make payments to freelancers and contractors. PayPal is more secure, more convenient, and has far better consumer and seller protection than Privacy.com than most credit card companies. But, it is not a This-Or-That argument, you can have and use both Privacy.com and PayPal if you wish. You can sign up for both and nobody is going to cut your hands off.
The Biggest Selling Point (That Doesn’t Exist)
The biggest selling point that Privacy.com should offer…but don’t, is the ability to pay over the phone. Nobody likes giving their credit card details to somebody over the phone because you have no idea who is taking your details down. A burnable credit card could be used just once to make payments over the phone. This is not something that PayPal offers. It could be a genuine selling point that Privacy.com has and PayPal cannot complete with…yet, at the time of writing, you cannot make a payment over the phone with one of Privacy.com’s virtual credit cards.
Can You Re-Open A Closed Virtual Card?
You can create payment details (a virtual card) that is used once or just a few times, or you can create payment details that you enter into a single merchant’s website and keep it there to be used exclusively with that merchant. Once you close a merchant card or dispose of your virtual card, you cannot reopen it. You cannot re-open it because that is the whole point of this privacy service. If you cannot re-open it, then neither can somebody who is trying to steal your identity.
What Will Show Up On Your Linked Bank Or Credit Card Statement?
Charges will appear on your bank statement and/or your credit card statement as “The merchant + Privacy.” If you wish to be even more discreet, then you may go to your account page on Privacy.com and set your service to “Discreet Billing” where all it will then say on your bank/credit-card statement is “Privacy.”
How Do Chargebacks Work?
You will have to resolve the issue with the seller before you come to Privacy.com, and you will have to show that you have made every effort to resolve the problem with the merchant. If you have no luck, then you have to go to your Privacy.com dashboard and attempt to make the charge-back from there. Privacy.com is the issuer in this case, so it is up to Privacy.com to resolve the matter and set up the chargeback on your behalf.
Privacy.com will not do much to help you get your money back. It comes to the point where it may simply be hard cheese if your charge-back is not successful. However, Privacy.com never promised protection other than to protect your account information. If you are looking for buyer protection, then go to a mainstream credit card or PayPal. To reiterate, Privacy.com do not claim to offer buyer protection and/or to rule in your favor regarding chargebacks, so it is unfair to criticize them for not fighting on behalf of their customers.
What Happens To Virtual Cards I Forget About?
Let’s say you link a credit card or a bank account to your Privacy.com account, and you create your payment details by way of one of their disposable virtual cards (a burnable card as they call it). You create it for a one-time purchase, but then you do not buy and you do not use the payment details/virtual card that you set up. In this case, nothing happens. After sixty days of not being used, the payment details/virtual card will be deleted and that is the end of it. If you decide to make the purchase, simply use the Privacy.com website to make a new set of payment details (a new virtual credit card).
What Happens If I Spend Less Than The Maximum Limit On The Card?
When you set up a temporary (burnable/disposable) virtual credit card, you may set a credit limit. This amount shows how much may be spent on the virtual card you just set up. There is no need to spend all the way up to the limit. The limit is only there to stop other people (or yourself) from spending more than is required. For example, if somebody were to create payment details (a new virtual card) via Privacy.com, and then enter those details into a merchant’s website, and somebody stole those details, they would only be able to spend up to the limit you set. You will not be charged for virtual cards that you have not used.
What Happens If A Seller Or Merchant Refunds My Money?
Let’s say that you pay for something with the payment details you set up through Privacy.com. You pay by your virtual card that contains those details, and then you decide to close the virtual card and set up a new one. However, the seller then issues a refund, but the old virtual card is long gone…so what happens next? Typically, the refund will enter into the Privacy.com system, and then Privacy.com will send the refund to your linked bank account or credit card. As a result, refunds take a lot longer when you pay with Privacy.com.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Refund?
Firstly, you have to consider how long it takes the merchant to issue the refund. It will then take between five to ten working days to appear in your Privacy.com account, and a further three to five days to appear in your bank account. In short, it takes a long time to receive your refunds.
You Can Give A Fake Name And Address
When you pay with Privacy.com, you may enter a fake name and fake billing details and the payment will still go through. This is good in some cases because you will be able to hide your personal details from websites, services and online merchants. It is not so good if you wish to make a complaint, return something, or conduct complex transactions with merchants. It may be a smart idea to enter your real shipping address if you are buying something, but you may enter a fake billing address if you wish. If you enter a name that is obviously fake, then the merchant may figure that you are pulling a scam and may reject your purchase and/or transaction.
Is Privacy.com The New VPN for Credit Card Payments?
Not really. They are not offering anything that other services such as PayPal are offering, and services such as PayPal offer more protection than Privacy.com does. If Privacy.com allowed you to create payment information (virtual cards) that you may use over the phone, then it would be both unique and invaluable. However, that is not the case. There are a few situations where Privacy.com may come in handy, especially if the company you are buying from doesn’t accept PayPal. If you are buying from a website that don’t accept PayPal, then they may run a shady company that has been banned, in which case you should use Privacy.com to create a single-use virtual card.
Conclusion – The Selling Point That I Like
After reading our Privacy.com review, you know what Privacy.com does and how it may be helpful. I personally prefer PayPal, but over the course of 2017 we saw a lot of bitcoin traders and exchanges stop using PayPal because of scammers using PayPal’s chargeback system to defraud others out of their bitcoin. That is why I have started using Privacy.com when buying bitcoin such as ICX and XVG.
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I do not like giving my personal details to bitcoin exchanges and traders because it is an unregulated industry that is crammed with fraudsters and online malcontents. Up until now, I have been using PayPal’s MasterCard to make my purchases because most will not accept regular PayPal payments. However, with PayPal’s MasterCard, it is still possible to find my real name. With Privacy.com, I am able to give a fake name, fake billing address, fake shipping address, and I may create single-use virtual cards so that the same information cannot be used again by hackers or fraudsters. I will probably go back to using PayPal again once bitcoin exchanges and sellers start using PayPal again, but until they do, I find Privacy.com to be my best option.