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How to Use Apple Pay on an iPhone in 6 Steps (with Photos)

Hey there! Have you heard of Apple Pay? It‘s an awesome mobile payment feature available on the iPhone that lets you checkout quickly and securely using just your device. No need to carry cards or cash. I‘m going to walk you through exactly how to set up Apple Pay on your iPhone and use it to make purchases. Follow along with the step-by-step guide and photos below.

Why You Should Use Apple Pay on Your iPhone

Before we dive into the setup process, let me quickly explain why Apple Pay is so useful:

It‘s incredibly convenient. Instead of fumbling through your wallet or purse for the right card, Apple Pay lets you pay with a single tap of your iPhone. Whether you‘re grabbing coffee, riding the subway, or shopping online, Apple Pay has you covered. It‘s estimated that Apple Pay streamlines checkout times by up to 11 seconds compared to chip cards!

It‘s accepted almost everywhere. Over 90% of retailers accept contactless payments like Apple Pay. Major stores like Target, Best Buy and CVS are all on board. Even many small shops and restaurants now take Apple Pay thanks to affordable mobile reader options like Square.

It‘s more secure. Apple Pay utilizes tokenized encryption to keep your actual card details private. Rather than your real card number getting sent with each purchase, a unique substitute code is used that‘s only valid for a single transaction. This makes your information much less vulnerable to hackers.

You earn rewards and benefits. All your credit card points, airline miles, and cash back offers still apply when you use that card through Apple Pay. Some banks even offer extra incentives for Apple Pay users!

It simplifies splitting bills. You can easily pay your share of a bill using Apple Pay when out with friends. No more IOUs or Venmo back-and-forth. Just tap and pay.

The benefits of Apple Pay are abundant. It offers the perfect blend of simplicity, security, and convenience for life on the go. Now let‘s get it set up on your iPhone!

Step 1: Add Your Card to the Wallet App

The Wallet app is where you‘ll manage your Apple Pay cards. Open it up and tap the plus (+) symbol in the top right corner. This will launch the card setup flow.

You can use the camera to scan your card details automatically or enter them manually. I prefer scanning as it‘s faster and prevents typos. Once your card info is captured, your bank will verify the card. This usually just requires answering a couple security questions to validate it‘s really you.

After your bank verifies the card, it gets added to your Wallet! Repeat this for any other cards you want to use with Apple Pay. Most major credit and debit cards from top banks work with Apple Pay.

Scanning a credit card to add to Apple Pay

Here are a few tips for this step:

  • Make sure to enter your name exactly as it appears on the card

  • Double check the expiration date and CVV code when entering manually

  • Have your bank‘s contact info handy in case you need to call about verification

  • For debit cards, you may need to go online to generate a special verification code

  • Add your go-to travel rewards card to rack up points on purchases

Once your cards are successfully added to the Wallet, you‘re ready to start using Apple Pay!

Step 2: Select Your Default Card

If you‘ve added multiple cards like I have, you‘ll next want to pick a default card. This is the one that will automatically be used when you pay with Apple Pay.

You can change the default at any time, but it‘s good to choose a top pick for your everyday spending. Here‘s how to set the default:

  1. Open the Wallet app and tap on any card
  2. Tap the (i) icon next to the card name
  3. Toggle on the switch for ‘Default Card‘

I like to set my primary checking account debit card as the default since I use it frequently. But feel free to choose whichever card fits your needs best!

Step 3: Use Apple Pay Online

Using Apple Pay on the web is super convenient. Anytime you see the Apple Pay purchase button during online checkout, you can tap to pay quickly without entering your card details.

When you click the Apple Pay button, a popup will appear asking you to confirm with Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode based on your iPhone model. This verifies it‘s really you making the purchase.

After authenticating, your default card will be charged and the purchase completed instantly. No need to fill out forms or type in card numbers! Apple Pay reduces checkout time on the web by over 50%.

Paying on a website with Apple Pay

Here are some useful facts about Apple Pay online:

  • Over 90% of mobile transactions are made using Apple Pay
  • 66% of Apple Pay transactions occur in apps and online, not in stores
  • Fraud rates decline by nearly 50% when sites adopt Apple Pay
  • Support for Apple Pay online is growing rapidly across ecommerce

So next time you‘re shopping online, look out for that Apple Pay button to streamline checkout.

Step 4: Pay in Stores with Apple Pay

Besides online shopping, you can also use Apple Pay in stores at contactless payment terminals. Here‘s how simple it is:

  1. Look for the universal contactless symbol on the payment terminal

  2. Wake your iPhone screen and hold it near the reader

  3. Double click the side button as prompted to authenticate with Face ID

  4. Wait for the subtle payment vibration and on-screen confirmation

And that‘s it, you‘ve paid! No wallet, no swiping, no PIN pads required. Apple Pay lets you tap and go in seconds.

Pro tip: If you‘re wearing a face mask or sunglasses, double click the side button first before tapping your iPhone on the reader. This preemptively triggers the Face ID authentication so you don‘t have to struggle to get it to recognize you mid-purchase.

Fun fact: over 90% of new payment terminals shipped today support contactless payments. So Apple Pay works virtually everywhere you shop.

Paying in store using Apple Pay

Apple Pay has revolutionized checkout experiences. No more fumbling for cash and cards when you have an easy mobile payment option.

Step 5: Use Face ID or Touch ID

Every Apple Pay transaction must be authorized with Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode as a security measure.

Here‘s what to expect:

  • Face ID iPhones: Look directly at the screen to confirm purchases with your face. Be sure you‘re centered and staring right at it.

  • Touch ID iPhones: Rest your finger on the Home button when prompted. On newer iPhones, the sensor is built into the side button instead.

  • Passcode Only: Enter your 6-digit passcode anytime Face ID or Touch ID are disabled.

This extra verification step helps ensure it‘s really you making the purchases on your iPhone, not someone else. Think of it like signing your name on a digital receipt.

And don‘t worry – Apple Pay works instantly. The whole authentication process occurs in seconds, so you‘ll barely notice it. Just focus your eyes on the screen when the payment vibration hits, or hover your finger over the sensor.

Authorizing an Apple Pay payment with Face ID

Requiring biometric or passcode confirmation keeps your payments safe while barely slowing you down at checkout. Apple Pay transactions remain speedy and secure.

Checking Your Apple Pay History

Wondering what you‘ve purchased recently with Apple Pay? You can view your last 10 transactions right in the Wallet app for easy reference.

Simply open Wallet, select your default card, and scroll down to see your latest Apple Pay spending history. This can help you stay on top of your finances and remember where your money is going.

I like to check my Apple Pay history once a week or so just to be aware of my recent purchases. It only takes a second!

View Apple Pay transactions in Wallet app

Monitoring your payment history periodically is a best practice for any digital wallet or payment method. Luckily Apple Pay makes it extremely quick and convenient to do.

Customizing Your Apple Pay Setup

Now that you‘re all set up, let‘s go over a few ways to customize Apple Pay to suit your needs:

  • Rearrange Cards: Change the card order displayed in your Wallet.

  • Set Favorites: Star your top go-to cards for quick access on the main Wallet screen.

  • Enable Express Transit: Pay for subway rides and buses without needing to authenticate every time – super handy for commuters!

  • Add Student ID: Store your student ID card in Apple Pay for easy access to dorms, events, and more.

  • Tweak Notifications: Pick which types of Apple Pay alerts you receive based on your preferences.

Take some time to play around with the Apple Pay settings and tailor them to your lifestyle. You can really optimize it to fit your daily habits and needs.


Well there you have it! You should now be a pro at using Apple Pay on your iPhone. From setting up cards to authorizing payments, you‘ve got this mobile wallet thing down.

Thanks for following along with my step-by-step guide. I‘m confident Apple Pay will become your new go-to payment method. Just leave that bulky wallet at home next time you head out the door. Your iPhone has you covered!

Let me know if you have any other Apple Pay questions. I‘m always happy to help you get more out of your devices. Enjoy wallet-free shopping!