Capital One is looking to make online shopping a bit safer, and it’s leveraging its smart assistant Eno to do so. This week, the bank debuted a new way to use virtual card numbers online — it all depends upon Eno and a web browser extension, which will automatically create these virtual card numbers whenever you go to check out online. You can give your card numbers nicknames to help you remember them more easily, and then manage them from an online dashboard.
The Eno-based plug-in works with the Google Chrome and Firefox web browsers, and anytime the smart assistant realizes that you’re looking to make a purchase, Eno will not only give you a brand new 16-digit credit card number, but it’ll also serve up a new three-digit security code and expiration date so that you can keep you real credit card information safe. Moving forward, Capital One is looking to make the plug-in available on other browsers, too.
These virtual card numbers aren’t new innovations in and of themselves — both Bank of America and Citi have similar methods of creating temporary card numbers that are linked to your actual credit card. This way, even if these digits are somehow stolen, it won’t affect your finances. But Capital One’s use of Eno to provide these temporary numbers makes it especially easy to use, and therefore, could go a long way in protecting customers.
It could also help you avoid paying for subscriptions that you no longer want. These virtual credit card numbers can be locked via the online dashboard, which means that you can effectively turn down recurring payments — so if you signed up for a free trial (but had to input a credit card number in order to do so), you no longer have to set a reminder to cancel that subscription once your trial period is up. Instead, just lock your virtual credit card, and when it’s time for your subscription to be paid, it simply won’t be.
Capital One points out that virtual numbers are completely integrated with your Capital One account, so if you replace your credit card, the numbers will still be mapped onto your new account. Plus, you’ll be able to earn rewards whether you use your real credit card or your temporary one.