iOS 17.4 beta to introduce generated card numbers for Apple Cash — what you need to know

Apple Pay Bitcoin
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The iOS 17.4 beta has brought forward some interesting new features, but one of the lesser spoken about is the addition of generated card numbers for Apple Cash when Apple Pay is not an option. This information has come from a series of Reddit threads (via 9to5mac) that mention the feature and what it appears to be capable of.

According to users with the Apple Card feature on the iOS 17.4 beta, there’s a new popup that invites them to set up a virtual card number. Once generated, this new number can be accessed by Safari AutoFill and it can be used to shop online. Users will be able to view the card in the wallet and generate new card numbers and CVC codes.

Apple Cash functions more like a debit card than an Apple Card. Instead of having to pay back the amount over time, it instead works like a prepaid debit card that you can use to send and transfer money. While that does mean it is much harder to overspend, it also means there are none of the cashback benefits that can come with Apple Pay. 

iOS 17.4 Beta Apple Cash generated card number set up

(Image credit: simpledsp @reddit)

The advantage of generating new codes is primarily about security and shopping online with confidence. It makes it harder for scammers to clone the card number as they don’t have the original details. It is also likely that the generated card numbers will not be usable more than once, so even if the number is cloned it can't then be used to perform another purchase. 

However, it appears that the feature is not fully accessible to every beta user yet. If you are running the beta you can check to see if the option is available by opening the wallet app, tapping your Apple Cash Card and checking to see if there is an option to set up the virtual card. There is currently no information on whether this feature will be available on phones that are not currently running iOS 17.4, or if it will be locked to that update. 

While we have no information on whether this feature will be primarily US-based, or if there will be options for other providers outside of Visa, it does seem to be an addition that is sticking around. However, we will know more when we have a chance to download the update ourselves and test it ourselves, which should happen around March. 

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Staff Writer

Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.