When customers save payment card information to their account or use an existing payment card in Chrome or Android, eligible cardholders can be prompted to enroll for a virtual card number (VCN). This process, also known as virtual card enrollment, is illustrated below (in Chrome):

Virtual Cards number enrollment

In subsequent checkouts, cardholders have the option to select the virtual card number, illustrated below in Chrome, and Google Pay Autofill automatically completes the payment form.

Virtual Cards number retrieval

In most cases, cardholders aren't prompted to add in additional information (CVV and expiry date). This process is known as virtual card retrieval.


Virtual card numbers are simple to enroll in, and benefit cardholders and financial services companies alike (see how to Get started with you integration).

For financial services companies, virtual card numbers reduce risk and increase transaction rates while giving more insight into merchant activity.

  • Fraud reduction: Virtual card numbers provide more transaction context for risk-analysis, letting financial services companies and card networks control authentication challenges at transaction time.

  • Improved shopping cart conversion: Some customers abandon checkout when presented with a risk-based authentication challenge (such as entering the payment card CVC/CVV). Virtual card authentication challenges don't require the physical card.

  • Improved authorization: Tokenized payments have shown to improve authorization rates.

For cardholders, virtual card numbers simplify the checkout process and reduce the risk of their card data being stolen.

  • Increased security: Virtual card numbers hide physical card information and help protect against fraud.

  • Reduced complexity: After saving a card to Google Pay Autofill on Chrome or Android and enrolling in virtual card numbers, cardholders can automatically enter payment information during checkout. If the cardholder's financial institution detects increased risk, it can issue an authentication challenge such as a one-time password (OTP) over SMS.

  • Reduced errors: Virtual card numbers reduce the chance of declined transactions due to missing or incorrect payment information.

The end-to-end process flow of a payment transaction using virtual card numbers is detailed on the FAQ.

Supported countries

Virtual Cards are available for eligible cards in the U.S.

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