American Express, Google to make Chrome's Autofill with a credit card more secure

The two companies are teaming up to make checking out with Autofill faster and safer.
Written by Evan Zimmer, Staff Writer on

American Express announced Wednesday that it's partnering with Google to better protect its cardholders when using Autofill with Google Chrome and Android. Amex cardholders will be able to use a new virtual card number (VCN) with Chrome, and they will be able to populate the credit card number field with it when using Autofill.

According to the press release, American Express cardholders will be able to enroll in Google's VCN program beginning sometime this summer. By being able to use a VCN with the Autofill feature, cardholders can make fast, secure purchases with ease.

Using a VCN is more secure for online transactions than using a card's physical number. The VCN replaces your credit card's 15-digit physical card number with a virtual number to better protect cardholders information when shopping online. The VCN will also generate a new four-digit security code (CID) to use as well.

Also: What are virtual credit card numbers and how do they work?

Using the new feature is simple. As consumers are checking out online with their Amex card, they'll see a prompt when using Chrome's Autofill feature that will generate a VCN for them. Once the number has been generated, the consumer will be asked if they'd like to apply the number whenever they choose to use Autofill at checkout.

By using a VCN, there's no need for the merchant to know a consumer's actual physical card number, adding another level of security while shopping online. 

"With more consumers shopping online than ever before, we're proud to innovate new digital experiences that meet our card members both where they are and where they're going," Lisa Yokoyama, head of product with Amex Digital Labs at American Express, said in the press release.

Few issuers currently offer virtual card numbers, despite their benefit to consumers. Capital One offers its cardholders an option through its Eno assistant, but being able to use Autofill to pre-populate the credit card field when shopping online is a new and welcome addition.

Bank of America, Discover, and Chase, for example, don't offer their cardholders the added security of a VCN when shopping online.

"This is a landmark step in bringing the security of virtual cards to as many consumers as possible," Arnold Goldberg, Vice President and General Manager of Payments at Google, said in the press release. "Shoppers using Autofill on Chrome and Android can enjoy a fast checkout experience when shopping online while having the peace of mind knowing that their payment information is protected."

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