Disposable credit cards for ebay & PayPal

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The Irish are making it easier to open eBay and PayPal accounts by accepting prepaid credit card style vouchers. 3V, the voucher issuer, say they will enable users to open PayPal accounts and buy and sell on eBay or indeed anywhere that accepts Visa payments. Vouchers can be purchased in local shops around Ireland, so they’re accessible to anyone over the age of 16.

I’m in two minds about this, firstly it’s good that eBay is open to users who don’t possess a credit card. The more people that can buy and sell on the site the better for everyone. However I don’t see a credit card styled voucher as giving the same verification as a proper credit card.

The 3V vouchers do offer a measure of protection to those wary of entering their credit card details online. Users are issued with a randomly generated Visa number and the CVV number is sent by text message to the users mobile. Even if the voucher is lost it can’t be used without the CVV number and essentially it’s a throwaway account once it’s used. The downside is the cost of purchasing the vouchers which in Ireland is a €5 surcharge.

3V have operated in the UK since November 2006 and on their UK site advertise their vouchers can be used on eBay.co.uk.

2 Responses

  1. Pre-paid credit cards are slightly different from the 3V system (you can top up the pre-paid credit card) but they’re perfect for minimizing risk. The card will only pay what’s loaded on it.

    As far as verification goes the 3V is worrying. A pre-paid card is ok because you need proof’s of ID the same as for a mobile phone contract. However a voucher style card you can just pick up in a news agent isn’t good enough.

    My two cents.



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