What are online payments and how can I make one?

Online payments are a fast, convenient way to send and receive money virtually, either via the web or a mobile device. As more consumers embrace digital banking, online transactions have become a popular choice for quick and secure payments.

What is an online payment?

An online payment is the electronic exchange of funds via a payment gateway or payment service provider. Online payments can be made via electronic bank transfer, debit or credit card payments, digital wallet transactions, and more. The online transaction process should always be secure and password protected, safeguarding the customer’s payment information.
Girl sitting with a laptop and a coffee.

How do online payments work?

With any type of online payment there are several steps involved. Once the payment is activated, the information is directed to a payment gateway. After that, the gateway encrypts the data and sends it to the card issuer, whose system checks the linked account for authorization. If accepted, the payment goes through and the funds are transferred. The gateway then confirms to the customer and payment recipient that the transaction has been processed, completing the online payment. The entire process usually happens in just a few seconds.

Online payment methods

There are a range of online payment methods to choose from, including electronic bank transfer, credit cards, mobile payments, services like PayPal, and digital e-wallets. Payments can be made via web browser, or directly from your smartphone using a physical or virtual debit or credit card. New to virtual cards? No problem—read our guide to virtual cards and the technology behind them to learn more.

Online payment service provider platforms

A payment service provider, or PSP, makes it possible for companies to accept electronic payments. They act as a third party, setting up the transfer of funds between the sender and recipient. They enable multiple types of payments, including direct debit, bank transfer, credit card payments, and more. PayPal, Stripe, and Apple Pay are just a few of the many online payment service provider platforms available.

Online payment digital wallet providers

Digital wallet platforms include PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Stripe, Amazon Pay, and Yandex. All are widely used online payment methods, securely storing card details for fast digital transactions. Payment information is kept safe in your digital wallet, and account information is encrypted, with some platforms verifying payment via touch or Face ID. Did you know that with an N26 account you can add your virtual debit Mastercard to virtually any platform for quick and easy online payments?

How to use a debit card to make an online payment

Using a debit card to make an online payment couldn’t be simpler. Just enter your 16-digit card number, expiration date, and CVV code at checkout. If 3D Secure requests additional verification, enter your one-time PIN or password. You should then receive a notification that your payment was successful. With N26, we make online payments a breeze with in-app payments via your virtual debit Mastercard.
N26 Spaces on phone screen, N26 You card, keys and a glass on a table.

Benefits of online payments

There are lots of advantages to using online payment services. For starters, they’re incredibly fast and efficient, and allow customers to access products and services from across the world. Plus, they’re much easier to manage than tedious cash payments. Online payments are also easy to track, offering extra security measures to reduce the risk of online card fraud.

3DS online payments with N26

At N26, every debit card is 3D Secure-enabled with Mastercard SecureCode. Here’s how it works—the card issuer requests either a one-time PIN sent via SMS to the user’s smartphone, or a pre-set password. This added level of security confirms the identity of the cardholder, offering an added level of protection when making online payments. If you’re looking for the safest way to make online payments, sign up for an N26 account now to get your very own 3DS N26 debit Mastercard.
App screen showing how to lock your card.

N26—security measures for every online payment

In addition to 3DS technology, N26 does even more to ensure that your money is protected. Every account is limited to one device pairing at a time, and is secured with password-protected login, as well as touch and facial recognition to verify every online payment. Plus, if you discover that your card has been compromised, you can lock it immediately and change the PIN right in the N26 app. Instant push notifications alert you of every transaction.
N26 transparent Mastercard, Charcoal black Metal Mastercard and teal Mastercard.
n26 standard card.
n26 metal card.
n26 you card.

Your money at N26

With N26, each account type offers a variety of payment options, along with free online payments worldwide. Virtual debit Mastercards, included with every account, can be added to wallet apps like Google Pay and Apple Pay for effortless virtual payments. Plus, our MoneyBeam feature enables instant virtual payments to and from other N26 users, free of charge.

Find a plan for you

N26 Standard

The free* online bank account

The N26 virtual card.
Virtual Card


  • A virtual debit card

  • Free payments worldwide

  • Up to 3 free withdraws

  • Deposit protection

N26 Smart

The bank account that gives you more control

N26 You card, Teal.
N26 You card, Ash.
N26 You card, Wheat.
N26 You card, Petrol.
N26 You card, Rhubarb.


  • Free Virtual Card

  • Up to 10 Spaces sub-accounts

  • Support Center phone number

  • Round-ups


N26 You

The debit card for everyday and travel

N26 You card, Rhubarb.
N26 You card, Petrol.
N26 You card, Wheat.
N26 You card, Ash.
N26 You card, Teal.


  • Up to 5 free withdrawals in the Eurozone

  • Flight and luggage delay cover

  • Medical emergency cover

  • Winter activities insurance

  • Pandemic coverage

N26 Metal

The premium account with a metal card

N26 Metal - Slate Grey.
N26 Metal - Charcoal Black.
Quartz Rose - N26 Metal Card.


  • An 18-gram metal card

  • Up to 8 free withdrawals in the Eurozone

  • Purchase protection

  • Phone insurance

  • Dedicated N26 Metal line

  • What is an online payment?
  • What online payment options are there?
  • How do I use a debit card to make a payment online?
  • Are online payments safe?
  • How do I make online payments with N26?