Why do card numbers on the payment differ from the customer's physical card when I use Tap to Pay on iPhone?

Note: The Tap to Pay on iPhone feature is not available to all Autobooks users. If Tap to Pay is not present in your mobile experience, contact your financial institution to inquire about Tap to Pay.

You may have noticed that the payment number displayed on a receipt or payment confirmation may be different from the physical payment card number used for a Tap to Pay / contactless payment transaction. This difference in numbers can sometimes cause confusion or concern, but it is actually a security measure designed to protect both customers and merchants from fraud.

The reason behind this difference in payment numbers is due to the process of tokenization. When a contactless payment is made a tokenized number is generated to serve as a unique identifier for the payment transaction. This payment token is a randomly generated series of digits that acts as a stand-in for the customer's actual payment card number.

This tokenization process adds an extra layer of security to contactless payments, as the payment token cannot be used for any other transactions beyond the specific payment it is generated for. Additionally, the payment token is only valid for a limited period, typically ranging from a few minutes to a few hours, adding another layer of protection against fraud.

By using a payment token instead of the actual payment card number, merchants and digital wallet providers can prevent the exposure of sensitive payment information to potential fraudsters. This is especially important for online transactions, where the risk of data breaches and fraudulent activity is higher.