In the current world of cyber pirates and data snatchers, it’s already crystal clear that finding the correct options to make online payments anonymous is a no-brainer. That way, you minimize the amount of data shared with companies, shield personal information, and most significantly, protect against fraud.
Maintaining privacy while purchasing online is essential for consumers today; anonymous payment options make it possible.
Some anonymous payment methods can even be transferred to the offline world for a consistent privacy measure. However, others are only performed with an internet connection – which this article is all about.
When you purchase anything online, often you have to provide personal information, such as an address, name, email address, or even your credit card number. Therefore, it becomes very easy for someone to steal your information and can compromise your privacy.
So, what are you supposed to do?
The best and only way is to use an anonymous payment method.
Here’s your quick overview of the best anonymous payment options;
- Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies – it’s widely available online, and when used in the correct manner, it can be entirely anonymous
- PayPal – almost anonymous but widely-accepted
- Prepaid Cards – very convenient and widely available
- Masked Cards – easy to use and super convenient
- Google Pay – it’s a semi-anonymous method and not that widely accepted
- Prepaid Gift Cards – most anonymous as well as efficient payment method, but not widely available services that accept them as a means of payment
- Apple Pay Cash – not that much anonymous and it’s not widely available
- Cash App – anonymous and flexible
- Venom – widely available but semi-anonymous
- Paysafecard – its availability depends on your location, but it’s very anonymous
- Paying by Cash – arguably the most private payment option
- Third-Party Payment Services – you’ll have several types of services to select from
So now, put your hat and sunglasses on, and waltz through the services with complete anonymity.
All the anonymous payment methods have their own advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, the key is merely to select an option that best works for you as well as your online spending routine.
Here’s everything that you need to know about each payment anonymous option;
One of the most popular anonymous ways of payment is via cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin is at the forefront. Ideally, cryptocurrencies work by simply validating tokens with monetary value. However, these tokens can be traced back via each transaction. Over the past years, cryptos have been used in facilitating anonymous online payments.
Therefore, if you want to stay anonymous with your payments online, crypto is an excellent method. Unfortunately, the most successive cryptos (Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum) are expensive, and you’ll only have to purchase them on crypto exchanges.
Also, the fact that they require registration with personal information, might compromise the whole idea of anonymity. Moreover, you must have an internet connection as well as a crypto wallet app to operate.
- Complete anonymity when handled correctly
- Widely supported
- Payments can take longer to process
- Limited offline
Most banks offer prepaid cards that have an anonymous way of paying online. They work such that you add money to the card before spending it, meaning personal details are not required for your transactions.
To use the prepaid card for your online payments, you’re supposed to register it with a website – making you stay relatively anonymous. Interestingly, you can use your prepaid card for offline purchases.
Furthermore, it’s very easy to get your prepaid card; you can get one from a supermarket or even a drugstore. Also, you can get one online; however, it involves giving your data to that company that you want to get the card from.
- Convenient to use
- Very anonymous
- Easy to get
- Both online and offline
- The sign-up process might not be anonymous
There’s no denying that PayPal is an online payment widely known by an array of folks. However, what’s not known is that with some work, it can be used as a semi-anonymous payment method.
Here’s the thing, to set up your PayPal account, you’re required to provide your name as well as an email address. For money to get into your account, you need to link a bank account and when you receive or send money, the person on the other side will only see your name and the email address.
With physical goods, you can simply add a different address (to keep your home address private) that the item would be shipped.
- Very reliable
- Widely acceptable
- Not easy to achieve complete anonymity
Ideally, Google Pay is a combination of a digital wallet platform as well as an online payment system. More like PayPal, you can use another (throwaway email) to complete your transactions. Also, you can fund it via a virtual credit card.
Given the fact that it integrates with various Google services, it’s very flexible. Moreover, you can easily request money via Android and Gmail messages.
Unfortunately, given that it’s still a new payment method in town, it’s not widely supported and if you want to use it for payments, it’s pretty likely that you’ll run into trouble.
- Cheap to maintain
- Relatively anonymous
- Not widely available and acceptable
Some banks and other credit card companies offer masking services, whereby you carry out your transactions with a real credit card without revealing the personal details of your account.
It simply means that you’ll be able to make anonymous payments using actual credit cards. Therefore, in case of a data breach, your real account is protected and you can close the virtual account if you feel that your account in some way has been compromised.
- Convenient as you use a regular credit account
- Very anonymous
- Some banks might require personal info during sign up, hence making it not entirely anonymous
- Only work online
Prepaid Gift Cards
Yes, prepaid gift cards can be one of the best anonymous payment methods. Some services accept payment via these cards; and since they don’t contain any payment details or ID, they’re an anonymous option.
Interestingly, they’re widely available and a good number of services accept them as a payment option. However, if you sign up for a service that you want to pay with your prepaid gift card, then your privacy might be compromised.
- Can be used both offline and online
- Widely available
- Not widely accepted
If you want a completely anonymous payment method, then the Paysafecard app should be the one. One is only required to purchase a Paysafecard from vendors; when paid in cash it’s very anonymous as there’s no way the voucher numbers you use will be associated with you.
Every voucher has a printed 16-digit PIN that you use to make online anonymous payments. You can combine up to 10 PINs for you to pay larger subscriptions and items. Interestingly, the Paysafecard website states that a plethora of merchants accepts these cards, hence you don’t have to worry about acceptability.
- Entirely anonymous
- Can be difficult to find in some countries
- There’re limited companies that accept Paysafecard
Apple Pay Cash
Apple Pay Cash is an excellent payment option for those, especially with an iPhone. You can set Apple Pay with a debit card and easily request or send money through iMessage. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a desktop interface, meaning you’ll be limited to the Google Pay version. But the fact that it adds a layer of anonymity makes it an interesting option to consider.
- Widely available
- Completely anonymous
- Only compatible with iOS
Venmo is a subsidiary of PayPal, and it acts as a digital wallet, whereby you can keep money in it or transfer it to your bank account. Moreover, it integrates a social feed and a friend list, adding more livelihoods to your money transfers.
Like PayPal, payments go through a checkout process that smears shady user’s data practices. However, when all the safety precautions are followed, Venmo is an entirely anonymous payment method.
- Easy to use
- Widely available
- Sometimes not very anonymous
It’s a mobile payment service that allows you to send as well as receive payments anonymously. This is only possible because every user has a $Cashtag – a username sufficient for transferring funds. Your real name should not be used as a $Cashtag.
Payments can be sent to someone’s $Cashtag, Name, Email address, or SMS (telephone text messages).
Unfortunately, the Cash app knows who you are as you’ll have to connect your bank account to get money into the app.
- Very easy to use
- Sometimes you don’t need a bank account
- Widely available
- Funds are not FDIC-insured
Now, the list of anonymous payment methods is unlimited; for instance, paying by cash is readily available and 100% anonymous. In fact, it’s the only true original anonymous option, all you have to do is to avoid including a return address or any information that can be used to identify you.
But, why would you want to pay for your services anonymously?
Now the fact is that there are some services that require payments anonymously;
Services that May Require Anonymous Payments
Some countries are restrictive, and the fact that you still want to pay for the restricted services will require that you go incognito. For instance, you don’t want to leave proof in form of bank records that will be used against you in court.
Here are some services that require anonymous payments;
Some countries govern their media, meaning if you subscribe to one that is not governed by the government; you’re simply a public enemy. Therefore, your subscription transaction needs to be done anonymously.
It’s a no-brainer that most countries have banned porn. Besides, it’s very embarrassing if someone saw your bank books budget. Therefore, to hide such embarrassments, anonymous payment options are a necessity.
A VPN is ideally perceived as something that’s used to break the law of geo-restrictions. Therefore, any VPN subscription record in your bank account is pure proof that you’ve broken the law.
Anonymous payment options will help you keep your identity private and secure online. One of the best ways to send or receive money anonymously is by cryptocurrencies, whereby only an email or phone number is required to complete a transaction.
Sometimes signing up with fake names might not be the best option for anonymous transactions. Perhaps, it can work, but if verification is required (like the case with PayPal) and the names fail to match, then the funds can be frozen.
Nevertheless, you don’t have to cheaply hand your personal data to attackers in the form of making online payments. All you have to do is use one of the best private and anonymous payment methods and enjoy your privacy.