PayPal has released a new Firefox plugin that integrates with its new Secure Card feature which generates a custom credit card number linked to your PayPal account that you can use to make a single or multiple payments with any seller that accepts Master Card, PayPal’s partner in this venture.
The plugin, a Windows-only 5 MB download, autodetects when you are requested for credit card information and prompts a small window suggesting to create a Secure Card for a single or multiple transactions. At your request it can also autofill the form with your shipping or billing address. As with other form fillers, it’s no magic: Its effectiveness depends on how good was PayPal guessing form field names and it is usually limited to English.
The payment form detector is not perfect either. I was prompted to generate a Secure Card while writing this post in WordPress, where, as you may guess I don’t need to pay for anything.
The plugin also adds a PayPal button to the toolbar you can use to force a new Secure Card creation or form fill, and provides some interesting functionality like saving the current page as a receipt (once you have paid of course), view past saved receipts, check your currentÂ balance, or view other previously generated Secure Cards.
It definitely adds convenience to this new PayPal feature for Windows users.
According to PayPal, Mac users can still use the SecureCard feature directly from their PayPal account and manually pasting the credit card number, expiration date and verification code to the merchant web site, but I couldn’t find the links referred to in the plugin help. Not a surprise of course. As much as I like its convenience, when it comes to communication in general, PayPal must be one of the biggest nightmares around.
We are a few days from Firefox 3 final release, but PayPal has decided to make this plugin compatible with Firefox 2 only. Oh well.
You can get the PayPal plugin by logging in to your PayPal account and looking in the left sidebar.