Discover how to use Apple’s payment service for in-store purchases, online transactions, and sending money to friends.

Apple Pay offers a more convenient way to make purchases while safeguarding your credit card information. Introduced in 2014, this payment service facilitates tap-to-pay functionality in physical retail stores, online applications and websites, and person-to-person payments via Apple Cash. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use Apple Pay.

How to use Apple Pay on an iPhone or Apple Watch

Prior to utilizing Apple Pay, it’s essential to add at least one credit or debit card to your Apple Wallet. Detailed instructions on this can be found in Engadget’s guide to setting up Apple Pay.

When it comes to using Apple Pay in physical retail stores, it’s important to note that not all vendors support this service. For instance, Walmart has chosen not to adopt Apple Pay and instead promotes its QR-code-based Walmart Pay. Similarly, Home Depot does not currently support Apple Pay, even though competitor Lowe’s began accepting it both in stores and on its app in late 2023.

To identify if a store supports Apple Pay, look for a tap-to-pay logo (featuring radiating waves with a hand tapping a card onto it) or the Apple Pay icon. Another option is to ask Siri to provide information on nearby locations that accept the service.

When you find yourself at a terminal that supports Apple Pay, follow these steps on your iPhone:

  1. Double-click the side button located on the right side of your iPhone.
  2. Authenticate by looking at your iPhone using Face ID, or place your finger on the Touch ID sensor if you have an older model.
  3. Tap the top of your phone to the card reader, typically located near the tap-to-pay logo. You’ll see a checkmark and hear a ding, indicating a successful payment transaction.

For Apple Watch payments, follow these steps:

  1. Double-click the side button (located on the lower right) of your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap your Apple Watch to the payment terminal, typically near its tap-to-pay logo. You’ll hear a ding and see a checkmark upon a successful transaction.

If it doesn’t work, verify that the location accepts Apple Pay and their systems are operational. If so, inquire with the staff about the optimal spot to tap on their payment terminal.

If you wish to use a card other than your default one, tap the onscreen card after double-clicking the device’s side button (but before making the payment). You can scroll through your added cards and select the desired one before tapping to confirm.

How to make online purchases with Apple Pay

Numerous websites and third-party apps now accept Apple Pay, providing not only the convenience of bypassing manual credit card entry but also enhancing security. Apple Pay employs an encrypted one-time “virtual token” instead of your actual credit card information. This means that even if hackers breach a vendor’s systems, they would only access the encrypted token linked to your Apple Pay, rendering it unusable for additional transactions.

For online transactions (both web and in-app) on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Vision Pro, follow these steps:

  1. When checking out on a website or in an app, select Apple Pay as your payment option during checkout.
  2. Upon verification prompt, use Face ID (for newer iPhones and iPads), Touch ID (for Mac and older iPhones and iPads), or Optic ID (for Vision Pro) to approve the secure transaction. You’ll receive an audible ding and witness an approval animation upon successful acceptance.

It’s worth noting that if you’re using a MacBook connected to an external monitor with its lid closed, you can use Apple’s Magic Keyboard with Touch ID instead of opening the laptop’s lid to access its sensor.

How to use Apple Pay to send money

Apple Cash provides a convenient way to send, receive, and request money directly through the Messages app, serving as an alternative to platforms like Venmo and Cash App. It enables secure fund exchanges with individuals you know and trust.

To begin, make sure you’ve set up Apple Cash. On iPhone, open the Wallet app, tap the Apple Cash card, and if prompted, select “Set up Apple Cash.” On iPad, Apple Watch, or Vision Pro, navigate to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay, choose the Apple Cash card, and follow the provided instructions.

Once Apple Cash is activated, follow these steps to send money:

  1. Open the Messages app and access the chat thread of the person you wish to send money to.
  2. Tap the plus button located to the left of the text input box.
  3. From the fan menu on the left, select Apple Cash.
  4. Enter the desired amount to send.
  5. Tap Send.
  6. The Apple Cash symbol will appear in a drafted message. When ready to send, tap the up arrow.
  7. Follow the security prompt to complete the transaction, using Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode on iPhone or iPad. On the Apple Watch, double-tap the side button, and on Vision Pro, it will utilize Optic ID.

How to use Apple Pay on Amazon

Regrettably, Apple Pay is not presently supported on Amazon’s website or mobile app. The nearest option is for vendors utilizing Amazon Payment Services on their external storefronts, as Amazon allows these sellers to accept Apple Pay.

If you encounter a third-party site or app utilizing Amazon Payment Services, follow the same steps outlined in the “How to use Apple Pay online” instructions. Add the desired items to your cart, select Apple Pay as your payment option, and complete the necessary security steps to verify and finalize the transaction.

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