TL;DR: I am getting rid of my credit card. What’s the best (secure, most-accepted) alternative for paying stuff online, like for example DCS modules?
I have had a MasterCard for around ten years now, and I have used it exclusively for paying stuff online, as it was the only possibility to pay for many things back then.
PayPal, Amazon payments and similar stuff weren’t a thing back then (or in their infancy) and credit cards were standard. I got a MasterCard Gold because it is pretty safe, in case you lose it or somebody steals and even misuses it you pay a maximum of 50€ and that’s it.
It was also easy to use, basically every shop accepted it, often even through safer methods such as SagePay or the like, so shops don’t even get the number.
I also did not have to share anything except my name and credit card number with the world, I wouldn’t like to replace it by giving someone my bank account information.
All was good. I bought almost everything online using it including all my DCSW modules.
Outside of the Internet I didn’t use the card at all. It might sound silly but for some reason I trust the offline world a bit more (or way less) so I pay with my EC card or the old fashioned way, with good old money.
A few years ago things changed a bit. MasterCard introduced a 2-factor authentication for some web shops. That basically just meant that for paying in an online shop there was a safe redirect to a MasterCard site where I entered an additional password. Not every shop used it but many German ones at least did.
So far so good.
But now things changed again.
This year they removed the password option. Now they only give me two options:
- authenticate via SMS. nope. Mobile phones are probably the most malware- and spyware-ridden pieces of hardware in the history of mankind. I am not using them for anything important, and surely not for anything related to banking.
- authenticate via app. Ahahahaha nope, that’s even worse than the first option!
I have a background in security related IT. The BSI (German federal office for information security) is not even known for being top notch, but even they classify both options as not secure.
And that’s ignoring the fact that I cannot use my credit card anymore if I lose my phone or it dies, or something like that. That’s crap.
So the best option is getting rid of the card, which I will do next week.
The question that arises is: what should I use instead?
It must be widely accepted, reasonably secure or throwaway, and it should not require me to register with any personal information except my name and/or an email address. It must not require any other device such as a mobile phone to be used.
I don’t use it much (less than 10 times a year, and most likely for a DCSW module or something from the X-plane store, stuff like that) so it should be accepted there, and it shouldn’t require regular use or have an annual fee or something, although I can live with a fee, the credit card had one as well.
I am eyeing PayPal especially, but I am not sure it qualifies.
Amazon payment could work well because I have an Amazon account anyway, but it seems it isn’t as widely accepted (for example in the DCSW shop).
Any input/ideas/remarks are appreciated.