How to pay online without a credit card?

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Don’t want to communicate your credit card number to a commercial site? There are many alternatives to buy safely on the internet without taking it out.

Source: rupixen via Unsplash

The e-commerce sector is doing well and will register growth of 13.8% in 2022 according to FEVAD. In total, the French made more than 2,000 million online transactions, with an average basket of 65 euros, almost 7% more than in 2021.

If placing an order online is as easy as it is fast, paying with a credit card is just as easy. But opting for this online payment method is not always without risk. Between fraudulent sites and hacking, credit card numbers can be compromised. Fortunately, there are alternative solutions to pay online safely and without having to take out your bank card. We have listed them here.

The virtual bank card

Before you want to do without your “real” bank card completely, you can explore the possibilities offered by your bank. Most of the banking establishments offer virtual bank card solutions. They are available in two forms:

  • a physical card equipped with a liquid crystal display that displays a temporary card number;
  • a virtual card number that can be generated from the bank’s client interface.

The electronic credit card has the advantage of having a temporary, single-use number. Once the payment is made, take a new number. Therefore, you will never have to communicate the “real” number of your traditional bank card and you will not run the risk of seeing it abusively reused without your knowledge.

This option is available upon request to your bank. However, before subscribing, check with your advisor, as it is possible that you will be billed additionally.


PayPal’s electronic wallet is one of the most used in France and has already conquered more than 7 million French people. This solution offers several notable advantages, including increased security for your bank details. At no time does the merchant site access your account or credit card number. These are completed when creating the PayPal account and paying for your purchases, all you have to do is enter your PayPal username and password.

PayPal: to reinforce the security of your credit card payments // Source: PayPal

In addition, PayPal is one of the only platforms that offers a payment solution to users who do not have a bank card. In fact, it is possible to choose to have it debited directly from your bank account instead of your credit card.

PayPal also offers additional guarantees for purchases made on the Internet and fully or partially refunds you in the event of a dispute with the seller.

Not to mention, PayPal is completely free for individuals, which is why this service is so successful.

Google Pay, Apple Pay and other virtual wallets

In line with PayPal, the tech giants have developed completely free e-wallets in recent years to make online and in-store payments easy. As with PayPal, all you have to do is create an account and enter your credit card number along with its expiration date and security code. And once on the site, all you have to do is enter your login details.

The Apple Pay solution, offered by many e-commerce sites // Source: Apple

More and more websites offer to pay for your purchases through Google Pay or Apple Pay and thus preserve the confidentiality of your bank details.


In addition to traditional means of payment, some banks offer prepaid and therefore blocked cards. These work like traditional bank cards and can be used to pay for purchases online or in stores.

On this principle, PaySafeCard also issues prepaid bank cards, with a large limit of 1000 euros per transaction. Everything you need to buy online with complete peace of mind. This solution is free if you use the card credits quickly (less than 1 month without registration and less than 12 months with a PaySafeCard account).

Transfers, checks: traditional means of payment

Although relatively rare, some online stores allow payment via bank transfer. But opting for such an alternative implies accepting some commitments, particularly in terms of delivery. The merchant usually does not validate the order until he receives the funds, which can take several days.

You can also pay for your purchases online using traditional payment methods // Source: Mealpro via Unsplash.

With direct debit, the company can, on the other hand, immediately launch the delivery, but this solution is still exceptional and reserved more for subscriptions than for purchases of physical goods.

Finally, if you choose to pay by check, you must be very patient. Between postal delays, the time it is processed by the company’s accounting department and delivered, it can take weeks. Better not be in too much of a hurry.

Each of these alternatives may generate additional costs charged by your bank depending on the current tariff conditions, or even by the seller. For all these reasons, they rarely have the privilege of shopping online.

Payment on delivery

A last solution is proposed for decoration products or mainly large household appliances: cash on delivery. This is the safest alternative, since your bank details are not communicated over the internet and you have already received your package. However, it is still quite rare and often incurs additional costs.

Therefore, there is no ideal payment method, but multiple alternatives to choose from depending on the product purchased, the desired delivery time and your current banking conditions.

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