Apple Cash Goes Online: iOS 17.4 Beta Rolls Out Virtual Card Numbers

Apple Cash Online

Apple’s mobile payment service, Apple Cash, is taking a significant step towards increased versatility with the introduction of virtual card numbers in the iOS 17.4 beta. This new feature, currently available for beta testers, empowers users to shop online even at merchants that don’t support Apple Pay.

Key Highlights:

  • Apple Cash users in the iOS 17.4 beta can now generate unique virtual card numbers for online purchases.
  • This expands Apple Cash’s functionality beyond Apple Pay, allowing spending at merchants not supporting the service.
  • Virtual card numbers offer increased security with single-use codes, reducing the risk of exposing real card information.
  • The feature is expected to officially launch to the public in early March 2024.

Apple Cash Online

Previously, Apple Cash functioned primarily for peer-to-peer payments, transferring funds to bank accounts, and settling Apple Card balances. While Apple Pay offered online purchasing convenience, its limited merchant adoption left some transactions out of reach. Virtual card numbers bridge this gap, allowing users to directly spend their Apple Cash balance at a wider range of online retailers.

Generating a virtual card number within the Apple Wallet app is a straightforward process. Users are presented with a unique 16-digit number accompanied by a dynamic security code (CVC). These details function similarly to a physical debit card, enabling online purchases where Apple Pay isn’t accepted. Importantly, the virtual card number is single-use, expiring after each transaction. This added layer of security minimizes the risk of exposing users’ actual card information in case of data breaches or merchant vulnerabilities.

Apple’s foray into virtual card numbers isn’t happening in a vacuum. Industry giants like Google Pay and Samsung Pay have already implemented similar functionalities, catering to the ever-growing demand for secure and versatile online payment options. This strategic move not only positions Apple Cash as a competitor to be reckoned with but also potentially unlocks a wave of new users who value flexibility and security above all else. With the ability to tap into a wider range of online merchants, Apple Cash could experience a significant boost in transaction volume and overall user engagement.

While the virtual card number feature is currently a perk reserved for beta testers, the wait for the public rollout won’t be long. Apple has confirmed the wider release alongside the official launch of iOS 17.4, expected in early March 2024. This much-anticipated update marks a significant evolution for Apple Cash, transforming it from a primarily peer-to-peer payment service into a powerful online spending tool. Early user reactions have been overwhelmingly positive, highlighting the increased convenience and peace of mind that virtual card numbers provide.

Apple’s foray into virtual card numbers for Apple Cash aligns with a broader trend in the digital payments landscape. Services like Google Pay and Samsung Pay already offer similar functionalities, catering to the growing demand for secure and flexible online payment options. This move strengthens Apple Cash’s competitive edge, potentially attracting new users and increasing its overall transaction volume.

While the virtual card number feature is currently limited to beta testers, a wider rollout to the public is expected in early March 2024 with the official release of iOS 17.4. This development marks a significant evolution for Apple Cash, expanding its reach and offering enhanced convenience for online shoppers.

About the author


Jamie Davidson

Jamie Davidson is the Marketing Communications Manager for Vast Conference, a meeting solution providing HD-audio, video conferencing with screen sharing, and a mobile app to easily and reliably get work done."