Burner Cards are the game changer. If we talk about the battle between privacy advocates and data brokers. Credit card is considered as the latest front.
Nowadays, it becomes very easier for online shoppers to shroud their privacy. By making transactions with virtual debit cards that just requires the information of your bank account or physical debit card. These cards are burner cards. That do not disclose your billing address and name.
So, it is an appealing promise and in such a case, merchants cannot impose additional charges. Such as automatic subscription fees on you. If the sites of the retailers get hacked. You don’t have to worry as you just need to terminate the burner cards and move on.
However, if you want to know the shopping behavior of shoppers, you need credit card data. Over the past decade. The history of consumer purchases has become one of the most lucrative data sets. Used by Madison Avenue and Wall Street for understanding the budgets, plans and taste of the shoppers. Michael Moreau, co-founder of Habu, a Boston-based start-up said, “Transaction data is the holy grail for marketers today”.
As a matter of fact, these transactions gave birth to a complex data-selling ecosystem. Credit card processing networks such as MasterCard, American Express and Visa are sitting at the heart of this ecosystem. Moreover, merchant processing companies, software companies, retailers and banks are also some inextricable parts of this ecosystem.
So, the bitter truth is that on one side, cardholders are completely safe from identity theft but, on the other side, companies are analyzing and tracking their online transactions in near real-time. It is almost impossible to know who is out there tracking and selling this data.
The positive side is that last August. Apple had launched its Apple Card issued by Goldman Sachs to mask the transaction of cardholders. Along with it, upstart software companies such as Abine and FigLeaf are also working on its burner cards and other technologies such as browser extensions that have the capability to cloak the web surfing of the consumers and password managers.
Offline consumers are always on the safe side as they buy with cash but, the scenario becomes different when it comes to online. Rob Shavell, co-founder of Abine said in this regard, “We want to give consumers the control to say- I love doing business with you, I want to participate on the internet, I just want to do it on my terms”.