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How to use Apple Pay with your iPhone

How to use Apple Pay
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

With stores encouraging people to use contact-free payment, knowing how to use Apple Pay is more than just convenient — it's becoming essential in this age of COVID-19 concerns. With Apple Pay, you can buy things just by placing a compatible device near a point-of-sale terminal without having to fumble for cash or a credit card. 

Apple introduced Apple Pay in 2014, introducing support on the iPhone first. Apple Pay has since migrated to the other devices, including the the Apple Watch, Mac and iPad, too. Learning how to use Apple Pay with the iPhone, though, is what we'll focus on here.

Apple Pay works with most debit and credit cards from leading banks, according to Apple. Store your credit or debit card info on your iPhone, and you can use your mobile wallet to pay for things at millions of brick-and-mortar stores. Basically any store showing an Apple Pay or contactless payment logo accepts Apple Pay. 

In addition, you can use Apple Pay to verify online purchases or send cash to friends via the Messages app. Transit systems in five U.S. cities support Apple Pay, as do transit options in Candada, China and the U.K. among other countries. And if you use Apple Card — Apple’s credit card — you can use Apple Pay and earn 2% back on purchases.

But before you can put Apple Pay to work, you’ve got to set it up by adding a bank or credit card. Here’s how to get started with Apple Pay and how to use your phone to pay for things once you’ve got Apple Pay enabled.

How to use Apple Pay: Set up

You’ll be prompted to enter credit card info for Apple Pay when you fire up your iPhone. But in your excitement to start using your new phone, it's possible that you breezed past this step. No matter — it’s easy to go back and enable Apple Pay or add extra payment cards that you might have skipped over the first time.

1. Open the Wallet app on your iPhone.

How to use Apple Pay

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

2. Tap the plus button in the upper-right corner of the screen.

How to use Apple Pay

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

3. You’ll be prompted to either enter a credit or debit card or apply for an Apple Card. For this step-by-step, we’ll enter a credit or debit card. (This screen is also where you can add transit card information, if you live in a place that supports that feature.)

how to use apple pay adding a card

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

4. You’ll be taken to a screen to add cards. If you’ve got cards on file from a previous iPhone backup, you’ll be able to add those by entering their CVC. You can also add a different or a new card entirely if this is your first time using Apple Pay.

How to use Apple Pay

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

5. The Wallet app will prompt you to add a credit card in the frame of a view finder so that it can scan in your credit card number. You can also enter your credit card number, expiration data and CRV manually. Apple will confirm all this info with your card issuer and if everything’s OK, the card will be added to your wallet.

How to use Apple Pay

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

You’ll receive a notification when your credit or debit card is ready to use via Apple Pay.

How to use Apple Pay

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

How to use Apple Pay

You can use Apple Pay in a variety of ways, including in apps, on web pages, and to ride trains and subways. But the most common way to use Apple Pay is in stores at a point of purchase in lieu of swiping or dipping a credit or handling over cash. How to use Apple Pay in a store to make contactless payments varies depending on what iPhone you use.

With iPhone X or later

1. Double-click the Sleep/Wake button on the right  side of your iPhone.

How to use Apple Pay

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

2. Select the card you want to use by tapping it, and double-click the Sleep/Wake button when prompted to pay.

How to use Apple Pay

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

3. Glance at your iPhone if you’ve set up Face ID to verify your identity. In this age coronavirus concerns, Face ID won't work if you're wearing a face mask. Instead, verify your identity by entering your passcode.

4. Hold your iPhone near the payment terminal. Your payment is complete when you see Done and a checkmark on the screen.

How to use Apple Pay

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

With and iPhone 8 or earlier

1. Place your finger on the Touch ID button on your phone.

2. Place the top of your iPhone near the contactless card reader. Your payment is complete when you see Done and a checkmark on the screen.