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From time to time I have business ideas, and recently I have captured my ideas and saving them in a folder on Evernote. Like most good business ideas, I usually encounter a problem or inefficient process and think that there has to be a better way. This particular idea I am writing about is something that I have encountered a few times in the past, but don’t think I will ever build a solution myself, so I’m putting it out there in case someone else can build a solution. I would be interested in supporting anyone that has a good solution, but at this time I really only have a problem without a good solution.
I’m calling this a Virtual Credit Card, but I’m not sure if that is correct. The problem I encounter is that I have most of my bills paid through automated payments on each merchants website using my credit card. I’m not the best at writing down each site that I have my credit card associated with the payment. When the credit card expires, or a fraud occurred on my card, or I just change credit cards I have to go back to each website and update my credit card information. Because I didn’t write down all the locations of my usage of my credit card, I inevitably forget to change one or two websites and my payment was declined. My idea would be to allow a person to enter a virtual credit card number into these sites which would just be a reference to a service where I would be able to manage my credit cards. Instead of changing all the different websites that I have associated with a particular credit card, I would just have to update the mapping of the virtual credit card to my real credit card number through this Virtual Credit Card service.
I know that there are some options, like Paypal, but a lot of merchants do not accept Paypal and it is difficult to set up automatic recurring payments through Paypal (at least it has when I have tried it in the past). Maybe there is a different service that would solve my problem? If so, I would love to hear about it.
Another problem I can see is that Visa/Mastercard/Discover give numbers that have meaning, and companies can check whether a particular credit card number is valid or invalid. This Virtual Credit Card service would need to be universally accepted to be useful to a large population of users, and I’m not sure how that would work.
Although I haven’t researched it much yet, EntroPay looks promising, but it looks like you have to pre-pay an account first from which the Virtual Credit Card would debit. It’s a high cost to fund the Entropay account (4.95%) but the benefit is that you receive an actual Visa credit card number which eliminates the issue of having merchants accept a different kind of payment service. This service is really close to something that would interest me, except the pre-pay requirement, and the high cost to fund the account.
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