How to sign up for AWS if your credit card requires CVV/CVV2 verification

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a great platform to get started on launching your own app on the cloud. Unfortunately, it has a very peculiar problem- you can’t sign up for any of the services if your credit card/debit card requires CVV/CVV2 verification before making payments. If you have tried signing up for AWS using such a credit card, you will get an email from Amazon that probably says something like this:

“We received an error while confirming the payment method associated with your Amazon Web Services account.

Some common reasons why an authorization might fail are:

* Amazon is not set up to accept the CVV2 security code associated with credit cards. Your bank may be able to temporarily lift this requirement.”

Now let’s be realistic. The chance that a bank would be willing to lift a restriction “just this once” is pretty narrow. So you’re in quite a fix now, aren’t you?

Well the good news is, there is a way out, and it will leave both you and Amazon happy. The answer is to use a virtual credit card (VCC).

What are virtual credit cards? This article on rediff says

“VCC is one-time usable credit card which comes with a preloaded amount and they are valid only for a specified time period as required by the user. Virtual credit cards do not have a physical existence and they are created to be used online.” 

You don’t get a physical credit card, but something that has a credit card number, an expiry date and a fixed monetary amount that you transfer to it. You can use this virtual credit card to make purchases like a normal credit card and the amount will be deducted from your balance. Yes!

There are a lot of VCC providers out there, but I used Entropay successfully so I recommend their service. You are free to use whatever service you desire.

So let’s go step by step shall we?

  1. Go to https://www.entropay.com/
  2. Click on ‘sign up’
  3. On the next screen, enter your details and click on ‘Get your card’
  4. You’ll be taken to a screen where you’ll have to put a certain minimum amount in your new card using an existing credit/debit card.
  5. You now have your own VCC with a valid credit card number and expiry
  6. Use the details on the VCC to sign up for AWS!

You are now legally signed up with AWS and can use this VCC for billing purposes.

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New OpenStreetMap editor by MapBox heats up the mapping sphere

May of 2013 was an exciting time if you are into maps. While Google overhauled Google Maps, OpenStreetMap has unveiled the iD editor by MapBox as it’s new, official map editor.

The welcome screen of iD editor
The welcome screen of iD editor

The iD editor by MapBox is a browser-based OpenStreetMap editor built with HTML5 and JavaScript, meaning that you don’t need to install anything and it works just as well on your mobile as it does on your computer! iD is open source, meaning that if you’re a developer and want to add a new feature to the editor, you can!

iD is designed to be easy to use and comes with a walkthrough, which gives step-by-step guidance to help you start putting features on the map and help is always available should you be stuck somewhere.

Only time will tell whether the new editor propels OpenStreetMap as the world’s best provider of crowd-sourced maps. In the meanwhile, here are some links to get you interested: