The initiative to make consumers feel good about using credit cards on the Internet made progress last week as Discover announced new technology to address the potential problem of transmitting live card numbers over the Internet. Discover introduced DeskShop, a new technology that automatically generates a substitute card number each time Discover cardholders conduct an online transaction. Discover is also launching a digital wallet in conjunction with DeskShop that will automatically insert the virtual card number into an order form. In September American Express launched a similar service known as Private Payments, which requires cardholders to go a special web site to link their designated AmEx card to Private Payments. A unique Private Payments number with expiration date is then randomly created. Other virtual account number and pseudo account number programs have been previously launched by VISA and MasterCard issuers. These include the Virtual MasterCard Program and MBNA’s ShopSafe program. Under the MBNA program, cardholders can set a specific dollar amount and time limit for the substitute credit card number. NY-based Cyota also offers SecureClick, a solution that has been on the market for over a year that replaces a real credit card number with a one-time transaction number, which expires after each transaction. VISA is also banking on new smart card technology to bring an even higher layer of security for online credit card transactions. For more information on Discover’s DeskShop visit www.discovercard.com.