Anonymous Payment When/Where Cash Is Not Available

I have been doing research on anonymous/semi-anonymous payment methods when and where cash is either not an option or lost its anonymity ( example: if providing NIF number was mandatory with each cash payment).

I did not focus on privacy oriented cryptocurrencies (Monero) given they are not widely accepted yet. I am mostly focusing on an alternative payment system that can somewhat provide the ease of credit cards/cash and cryptocurrencies are not there yet.

So far I have discovered that the closest thing to what I am looking for is virtual debit cards. Not the ones that are provided by banks themselves since I believe banks still can keep record of the number of the virtual card you purchased and how you spent it. Please feel free to correct me if this is not the case.

That leaves me with companies like,, epin.paysafecard. They all provide virtual debit cards. My understanding is they act like a VPN. The bank only sees that you made a purchase from So it is a matter of whether or not you trust the middle man with your purchase data.

However there are some questions on my mind that I cannot seem to be finding an answer for. When these companies provide you with virtual *insert credit card company * cards how do they do it? What I know is that one cannot just generate random numbers and call it a virtual credit card. That makes me think they form a partnership or use the API of credit card companies. If that is the case then there is a big chance the credit card companies can still track you.

Please contribute to the discussion if you know what is happening behind the curtains when it comes to these types of services. Better yet pls share if you have a better alternative/idea.

I heard one can buy Amazon gift cards and use safe lockers during the transaction. Have you tried this solution so far?

Thanks for investigating this.

For example in Portugal, people can pay with “MBNet” (one of those virtual cards). However, it’s not so much a privacy feature as the person’s real name is the name on that card. So the seller likely receives that information. Furthermore, the bank keeps all the records as you mention.

The most privacy-preserving alternatives I find are:

  • gift-cards (bough in cash and spend on a throw-away account)
  • Paysafe Cards (pretty much like gift cards but can be spend on multiple stores)
  • pre-paid credit cards, bought in cash.

I personally find it abhorrent the fact that people cannot buy books online easily in an anonymous way. Someone who knows our library knows to a very deep level who we are. No one but us should have that power…