Deficiencies in Apple Pay

I’ve noticed the following deficiencies in Revolut’s implementation of Apple Pay:

  • Disabling “Contactless payments” in “Card security” also disables Apple Pay. There is no use case for disabling a payment method with two-factor authentication such as Apple Pay without freezing the entire card. In other words, there is no greater need to disable Apple Pay than to disable chip & PIN, which doesn’t have a separate switch in “Card security”. Virtual cards do not have this “Contactless payments” switch. Revolut has inconsistently made different security switches available for Apple Pay cards depending on whether the underlying card is physical or virtual. The security switches for Apple Pay should be consistent, irrespective of whether the underlying card is physical or virtual.
  • There is no way to disable online payments on a virtual card without also disabling Apple Pay on the same virtual card. The same is not true where the underlying card is physical. This is inconsistent. Plenty of users will want to set up Apple Pay on their virtual card, because for example their virtual card is MasterCard and their physical card is Visa over which they have no choice.
  • If one uses Apple Pay with a virtual card and the point-of-sale terminal asks for a PIN (rare but it does happen), then there’s no way to see or choose one’s PIN. The transaction will most probably fail. The most common scenario where this might happen is where a point-of-sale terminal imposes the national contactless transaction limit on Apple Pay, perhaps because Apple Pay is not yet launched in the country, but I’ve even seen this happen with an officially-supported Apple Pay merchant in Brazil.
  • With a Revolut Visa card and MasterCard in one’s Apple Wallet, it’s impossible to distinguish between Visa and MasterCard, because the Visa and MasterCard logos are hidden at the bottom of the cards (accurately representing the physical cards) rather than at the top. Perhaps the logos ought to be moved to the top, particularly for virtual cards that don’t represent a physical card.

Is there an offline use case for the virtual card? Disabling online payments in the virtual card actually defeats the usage of it, or am I missing something?

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The intention of virtual cards is primarily for making manual payments online, whereby you enter the card number on a web site etc. In order to protect their accounts against fraud after a card number falls into the wrong hands, users typically freeze virtual cards when they are not making an online payment. The problem is that freezing the card also disables Apple Pay. Some of the same security switches for physical cards need to be made available for virtual cards.

You will have the same problem with your Deutsche Bank Virtual Card in your wallet. There is also no PIN for it.

That’s very true. I wonder what the industry solution is for this. Can one enter any PIN?

Wouldn’t it be smarter to just create one virtual card and use that one only for Apple Pay?

OR just press enter with no PIN and try if its going through…

That works or? Didn’t you try that already one time?

The card itself works with no PIN. I try with Chip and I press enter without any PIN and Approved.

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No, when it happened in Brazil, I entered the underlying physical card’s PIN.

I asked support. What about if a virtual card is used in ApplePay and the PIN is asked. Their reply was:

‘in that case, it will ask you for PIN of your phone or of your ApplePay account. ‘

Haha. The responses I got were just as bad:

Our virtual Revolut cards do not a PIN code, so in any case, it should not be our card´s PIN.

As to any particulars in connection to Apple Pay, I would suggest trying to get in touch with them and put your potential queries to them.

As to ¨them¨, I mean Apple Pay of course and especially their support division.

The Virtual card would be accepted for Apple Pay, as it does not has a PIN and most merchants providing financial services do not accept them ( with Virtual cards it is easy to make subscriptions to Netflix for example and cancel after the free trial).

But it’s the same with Google Pay. Disable ‘Contactless’ in Revolut and the card won’t work in GPay. If it stays disabled, after a while the card will become grey in Google Pay. Re-enabling Contactless in Revolut does nothing and Google Pay asks that I re-add my card.

I suggest doing what another community user wrote, make a switch like Starling/Monzo that enables “Mobile Wallets” — same behavior for all card types (physical and virtual).


Revolut needs to change Visa and MasterCard designs so they are mo distinguishable.

Isn’t that only a free user problem? The Premium and Metal cards have different colors in the wallet or?

Well, also premium users have cards in the basic design. When virtual cards are added to Apple Pay, they are displayed as basic cards. And Maestro is only availabe as basic design.

Unfortunately, Revolut’s design here is sloppy at best. Revolut logos have different sizes, and card brands are not easily identifiable in stacks. This all isn’t rocket science, other card issuers have done better jobs here.

To be fair - a lot of card issuer have their logo on the lower right side. This is generally unfortunate in the Apple wallet.

Other card issuers rarely issue Visa, Maestro and Mastercard. Studying the competition would have unwrapped an easy solution. Bunq for example does integrate MC and Maestro, and they were clever in positioning the logo in the upper right corner.

Don’t get me wrong: I actually don’t care that much about this. But it’s still bad and sloppy design. Come on! The brand logo in slightly different sizes?

Not being able to differentiate the cards in the wallet is bad design. And there’s not really a point in pointing to others that might be equally bad. I just mentioned competitors to illustrate that there’s no need for invention here. Better design options are already out there.


The Maestro and the VISA actually have a different color scheme. I can see the difference instantly.

Yeah. If only “difference” would be the interesting part.