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iOS 16 could add support for virtual cards when online shopping

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What you need to know

  • Apple could be planning support for virtual cards in iOS 16.
  • New beta code indicates Apple is working on better support for virtual cards when online shopping.
  • These cards are issued by banks without a physical equivalent that hides your real card number online.

A new report indicates that Apple is at least considering adding better support for virtual cards on iOS 16.

From 9to5Mac:

As seen by 9to5Mac in the internal code of iOS 16 beta 3, released on Wednesday for developers, Apple has been working on a new system to integrate virtual cards with Safari in order to improve security when shopping online.

While Apple and iOS 16 already have very strong integration for Apple Pay, Wallet, and cards when online shopping, the company may well be considering even better integration for virtual cards that some banks issue, a helpful security alternative that ensures your real card number is never at risk of being leaked or stolen.

The report says that code in the latest iOS 16 beta states:

Make this card available in Safari AutoFill and hide your real card number when shopping online.Continue to use your card as usual. When shopping online, it's now available in Safari AutoFill with your real card information hidden.For added security, the website will now use a virtual card number and is available in Safari AutoFill.

As the report notes it is hard to tell at this stage whether support for this will be universal or dependent on banks to provide support.

The report says the new beta also includes better integration for AutoFill, meaning Safari "will now look for Apple Pay-compatible credit and debit cards" and prompt users to add it to the Wallet app. Currently, Safari won't support AutoFill cards that aren't supported by Apple Pay.

Apple's new iOS 16 beta is available now to developers, with a public beta due this month.

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.