Google I/O: New safety features include virtual payment cards

11 May 2022

Image: © Chinnapong/Stock.adobe.com

The new virtual cards announced at Google I/O will be rolled out on Chrome and Android in the US this summer.

Google has revealed a spate of new safety and privacy features at its annual developer conference Google I/O today (11 May), including new virtual cards for online payments.

The virtual cards are designed to add an additional layer of security to online payments on Chrome and Android by replacing your actual payment card number with a distinct, virtual number.

Future Human

This will eliminate the need to manually enter card details, such as card number and CVV, at an online checkout and reduce the likelihood of fraud.

Virtual cards are not uncommon. In 2018, Revolut launched virtual cards based on the same premise – destroying the virtual card details after each transaction and generating new details for the next payment.

“As people do more shopping online, keeping payment information safe and secure is critically important,” Google said.

“[The virtual cards] are easy to manage at pay.google.com – where you can enable the feature for eligible cards, access your virtual card number, and see recent virtual card transactions.”

The cards will be rolled out in the US this summer for Visa, American Express and Capital One cardholders. Those who use Mastercard will get the feature later this year.

Google also confirmed that the service will be free of charge.

Topics, two-step verification and more

Google I/O is taking place online today and tomorrow, streaming from the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California.

Last year’s conference, which came after a break in 2020 due to Covid-19, saw Google reveal a whole host of new developments, including a new language model for dialogue applications, more detailed and tailored Google Maps, and a range of new Google Workspace features.

This year, the search giant has also revealed other safety features alongside virtual cards.

It includes automatic enrolment to two-step verification to boost the security of Google Accounts and reduce users’ risk of getting phished, while also scaling the phishing and malware protections in Google Workspace.

The company also discussed a new tool to accompany its updated policy on removing personal info from Google search results, and a new ad centre to let users decide what type of advertisements they want to see across Google services based on various topic categories.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com