Across the Board

Blog on e-business and online payments.

Card number from a photo

How many times have you had to type a credit card number when you wanted to pay for something? It’s painful, isn’t it? 16 digits one by one, then check for mistakes… next payment: once again, 16 digits one by one, etc. is a solution for everyone who’s tired of putting the whole credit card number again and again.

How does it work?

This software simply uses the built-in camera of a smartphone (e.g. iPhone) to take a photo of your credit card that you want to use for payment. After capturing an image, passes on the credit card number to the vendor for payment.

Simple, isn’t it? Sure it is. But is it safe? IMHO not really.

First of all – it’s a photo. I’d be really afraid to take a photo of my credit card.

Secondly… it’s software, not hardware. Guys from probably know what they’re doing. They have necessary know-how, they have talented programmers, etc. But still, they don’t know the hardware, they didn’t create the device, probably they don’t even know how exactly this device is working. So how can they be so sure that no one put any ‘sniffer’ in it? How can they be so sure that this device is safe enough? I can trust products like square, because they provide me a separate device, which is responsible for everything (including reading card details and encryption). In this case… I simply can’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I really love solutions of this kind (which simplify the payment process). And I’d really love to have a possibility not enter the whole long credit card number again and again. But… not this way. in practice:


Experienced executive, people-oriented leader, doer, entrepreneur. CEO at PayLane. Business educator on Also on Twitter.

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