mastercard With the holiday season just about here, many of you will be visiting e-commerce sites all across the web to make purchases, and many of those purchases will be made with a PayPal account. The only problem is, not all sites accept PayPal as a form of payment which in the past has meant that people had to turn to another form of payment such as a credit card.  This will no longer be an issue because tomorrow, PayPal will be launching the PayPal Secure Card. They’ve teamed with MasterCard to provide this option to their users, and it can be used on any site including sites that do not accept PayPal as a form of payment.

Here’s how it will work: After downloading software, users will see a PayPal icon in their Internet Explorer browser.  Anytime you land on an e-commerce checkout page, it will know and pre-fill the payment information for you.  By clicking the button in your browser, a unique MasterCard number is generated just for that purchase.  It can be used anywhere that MasterCard is accepted, and it looks like any other MasterCard purchase so merchants won’t know that it was paid via PayPal. This gives users a safer and somewhat easier shopping experience.

Notice that I said “Internet Explorer Browser” above? That’s because it works well in Internet Explorer, but doesn’t work so well in Firefox.  According to Mark Hopkins over at Mashable who was  one of 3 million beta testers for the PayPal Secure Card, there is a Firefox plug-in available that helps. The only problem though, is that from his experience, he says that it slowed down the browser. At this point, I don’t think there’s any hope for Opera users if Firefox isn’t  even supported well. Hopefully with the official launch tomorrow, the experience for Firefox users will improve, and support for Opera users will come in the near future.