ShopSafe: Bank of America’s One Redeeming Quality

There are plenty of things not to like about Bank of America: Their customer service is terrible and they’re going to start charging $5 per month for debit accounts. The bank even haunts my dreams.

Well, I have good news for all you people who are hanging onto some hope that Bank of America isn’t all bad. They have one awesome feature associated with their credit cards that gives users an extra layer of protection when shopping online.

SafePass generates a temporary credit card number for you to use when making online purchases. The number is linked directly to your real credit card account but keeps your real card number protected from people who may be trying to steal it.

It seems like every few weeks another company is sending out a letter warning of hackers gaining access to your account and credit card information through their system. Well, this will protect you from those hackers getting access to any information they can use. The number would be useless to them.

For those who are hesitant to purchase online in general or from a certain store specifically, this helps reduce fraud and gives you confidence that your most important information will be safe.

Here’s how to use ShopSafe:

1. Find a product online as you normally would, and when it’s time to check out:

2. Sign into your Bank of America credit card account and choose ‘Use ShopSafe’ on the right side.

3. A popup will load and give you three options:

  • “Create a New ShopSafe Number” – Use this to start a new purchase
  • “Create a New ShopSafe Number for Recurring Payment” – this is great for magazine subscription and other subscriptions that you may not want to renew
  • “View All Active ShopSafe Numbers” – you can close the number after it’s used or view purchase activity

4. Enter the security code from the bank of your actual credit card (required for verification)

5. Set your maximum spending ammount and the length of time the number will be valid

6. A credit card will be displayed for you with your settings. Use that information to make your purchase online and you’ll be all set!

I’ve tested it out and SafePass is really easy to use and has some very practical uses. I don’t use it all the time (I trust Amazon and Google with my information and don’t want to constantly have to change my credit card information with them when the temporary card numbers expires), but if I’m shopping at a merchant I’m unfamiliar with or as a one-time thing, it’s worth the extra minute to help protect my security!

Readers, do you use temporary credit card numbers? Would you feel more comfortable purchasing online if you did?

7 Responses to ShopSafe: Bank of America’s One Redeeming Quality

  1. Darwin's Money says:

    Way to go against the grain and post something positive about BofA. This might be a first on the web this year! They are the most hated company in america right now, deserved or not. I’m glad to see an alternative viewpoint. They shouldn’t have to operate for free after all.

  2. Even with this security feature you should always make sure that you’re shopping on credible websites!

  3. B. Howard says:

    Great post about ShopSafe! But I want to know if any other banks and/or credit card companies use ShopSafe or something exactly like it. Does anyone know? I don’t understand why more banks/credit card companies don’t use something like it. Maybe BOA has a copyright on the idea? I love the idea of ShopSafe but am amazed at how many people and vendors have no idea what I’m talking about when I try to explain it! I especially get irritated when a vendor does not give me the total until AFTER I’ve entered my credit card info. With ShopSafe, I want to know the grand total, with shipping, taxes, etc, BEFORE I put in my credit card info.

  4. Michael Robertson says:

    PayPal had a similar service, but it was dropped.

  5. Rodney D says:

    B of A had a windows version of shopsafe that was awesome. I could generate a new credit number with way fewer clicks than the present online system. I current system is ok, but I am looking for an alternative that works as slick as what B of A used to have.

  6. Roger S says:

    ShopSafe with Bank of America is not worth the effort. They will allow charges in excess of the limit you set. They will admit to allowing charges 10% more than the limit, but in my case it was over 1000% of the limit.

    Bank of America’s response, dispute the transaction.

  7. Adam says:

    You’re spot on. The ONE, SINGLE redeeming part of having a credit card with BofA. But, it’s a big one. It is the only reason anymore I still use my BofA card.

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