How to Use and Set Up Apple Pay on the different devices

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Apple Pay has quickly become one of the best mobile payment methods on macOS, iPadOS, and iOS. It’s great for making purchases online and in apps, or sending money to others. It’s an adept replacement for PayPal, Venmo, Square, and just about every other digital-first payment processor.

Apple Pay is core to Apple’s operating systems, too. It’s built into watchOS, iOS, and iPadOS via the Wallet app, and is part of the macOS system settings. It’s secure, simple to use, and likely your best option for buying goods or services online or in apps. 

Here, we’ll show you how to use Apple Pay, how to set up Apple Pay, and how to use it on all of your devices.

What is Apple Pay, and how it works

Apple Pay is a secure, simple method for digital payments. It can be used in-person at a point of sale terminal, online in the Safari browser with merchants who utilize the Apple Pay API, in apps across Apple’s platforms, in the Apple Store, and at Apple Store locations. Launched in the United States, Apple Pay is now available in dozens of countries. 

To use Apple Pay, you either need to add a credit card to the service, or to add money to the Apple Pay Cash Card in the Wallet app on iOS or iPadOS. The Cash Card acts as a prepaid card for use anywhere Apple Pay is accepted.

For security, Apple relies on a tokenized ‘virtual’ card number, which anonymizes your credit card number. Purchases are assigned a temporary account number, and Apple Pay acts as an intermediary for purchases through payment processing systems. This way, there’s never a risk your card number will be exposed when using Apple Pay. 

Apple also relies on its TouchID and FaceID biometric security systems to authorize purchases. Mac users can also authorize payments via their Apple Watch if the watch is known to the Mac as an Apple Pay authorization method. 

This is how Apple Pay works to ensure quick, secure, anonymous purchases every time you use it.

How to set up Apple Pay

Apple Pay may be baked into Apple’s operating systems, but you still have to set it up for use. Each time you purchase a new device, you may also find your cards associated with Apple Pay need to be reauthorized for use as mobile payment options.

It’s not difficult to set up Apple Pay on any of your Apple devices. Here’s how to do it.

How to set up Apple Pay on iPhone and iPad

Setting up Apple Pay on an iPhone or iPad requires the same steps. Keep in mind the cards you add are linked to the device’s Wallet app. If you want to use a single card on both iPhone and iPad, you will have to authorize it in the Wallet app on both devices. 

Here’s how to set Apple Pay up on your iPhone:

  1. Click on the Wallet app
  2. Tap the plus icon in the upper right corner of the screen
  3. Select “Credit or Debit Card”
  4. Select “Continue”
  5. Scan your card using the iPhone’s camera, or enter your card details manually
  6. Verify the information is correct
  7. Follow the steps to authorize the card via your bank

Note: Often, your bank will have an authorization form sent via the Wallet app, but your bank may require that you call it directly to authorize the card for use in Apple Pay.

apple pay ios

To set Apple Pay up in your iPad, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPad
  2. Select “Wallet and Apple Pay”
  3. Select “Add Card”
  4. Follow the steps to add and authorize a card for use on iPad

Setting up Apple Pay on Apple Watch

Because your Apple Watch is so intertwined with your iPhone, adding a card to the Wallet app on your iPhone makes it immediately available to the Wallet app on your Apple Watch. To authorize a card for use on Apple Watch, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone
  2. Select “Wallet & Apple Pay”
  3. Select “Add” next to the card from the list of available cards you’d like to use.
  4. Follow the steps to authorize the card for use on Apple Watch

If you’d like to add a card for use on Apple Watch without it being authorized for use on your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone
  2. Select “Wallet & Apple Pay”
  3. Select “Add Card”
  4. Select “Continue”
  5. Scan your card using the iPhone’s camera, or enter your card details manually
  6. Verify the information is correct
  7. Follow the steps to authorize the card via your bank

This will enable a card for use on Apple Watch. It will be available on your iPhone, though you’ll have to authorize it in the Wallet app on your iPhone if you want to use it there as well.

apple pay apple watch

How to set up Apple Pay on a Mac

Here’s how to set up Apple Pay on your Mac:

  1. From your Mac menu bar, select the Apple logo on the top left corner
  2. Select “System Preferences”
  3. Select “Wallet and Apple Pay”
  4. Select “Continue”
  5. Enter your card details
  6. Select “Next”
  7. Follow the steps to authorize the card via your bank

Now that you know how to set up Apple Pay for use across your devices, it’s time to consider how you manage your money. For that, there’s MoneyWiz.

Moneywiz is a powerful app for your Mac that helps you manage your money, control your spending, and budget accordingly. Its main focus is helping you plan for bills; monthly bills are ones you may not regret, but what about other items like car insurance? Some bills don’t happen every 30 days! It’s easy to run low on funds if you’re not careful.

Better yet, MoneyWiz has a spending forecasting tool so you can plan purchased accordingly. A quick dive through the app will show you what you’ve paid, what’s due, and when you owe. The app shows you how much money you have, and what you’ll be spending. That way, you know if you should be making purchases, or if it’s better to wait a few days.

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How to use Apple Pay

Using Apple Pay is simple, and extremely secure. We’ve not yet heard of anyone having their card or personal information compromised when using Apple Pay, and it’s been around for years.

How to use Apple Pay on iPhone

You can use Apple Pay on iPhone for use in apps, or in person. First, we’ll tell you how to pay with iPhone using Apple Pay at a store:

  1. If your phone screen is off, double-click the “Side Button” on the upper right side of your iPhone
  2. Select the card you’d like to use
  3. Hold your device close to the payment terminal
  4. Wait for your phone to alert you it has completed the transaction

To use Apple Pay in apps, simply choose the payment button associated with the purchase you want to make. On the next screen, select the Apple Pay button, if the app utilizes Apple Pay. From there, simply follow the on-screen directions to choose the card you’d like to use, and your address if it’s a physical good you’re purchasing. This is how to use Apple Pay on iPad, too.

If you need to know how to use Apple Wallet to pay someone, it’s easy. Just go into the Messages app, select the Apple Pay logo on the bottom of the screen, and select the amount you want to pay them. Then select “Pay.”

Using Apple Pay on Apple Watch

Using Apple Pay on an Apple Watch is very similar to the process for iPhone. Here’s how to use Apple Pay on watch:

  1. Double-click the “Side Button” on your Apple Watch
  2. Select the card you’d like to use by swiping left or right on-screen
  3. Hold your watch near the payment terminal
  4. Wait for the beep and a haptic tap on your wrist to know the transaction is complete

How to use Apple Pay on a Mac

Apple Pay on Mac is primarily used via Safari. If you were wondering how to use Apple Pay online, this is how:

  1. On a website, tap the Apple Pay button to check out
  2. Ensure your billing details – address, phone number, name on the card – are accurate (Note: You can enter a new shipping address if you need to on this screen)
  3. Authorize the purchase

Macs with TouchID sensors can authorize purchases that way. If your Mac doesn’t have TouchID, or ir in clamshell mode, you can also authorize purchases via Apple Watch by double-clicking the side button. 

Conclusion

Congratulations! Now you know how to pay with Apple Pay in any situation. 

Apple recently launched an official Apple Card, branded with its logo and secured by Goldman Sachs Bank. There’s an actual, physical card Apple ships when you are approved for the card, and it’s immediately available in the Wallet app for use with Apple Pay. The card also has some interesting money management features.

But Apple limits its financial tooling to its credit card, which is woefully limiting. We prefer Moneywiz for a more thorough, holistic look at your financial picture. With it, you see your complete financial health status, and its budgeting tools are second to none. 

Best of all, MoneyWiz is available for free as part of a seven day trial of Setapp, the leading suite of productivity apps for your Mac. Alongside MoneyWiz, you’ll gain immediate and unlimited access to nearly 200 other great Mac apps across every category you can think of. Best of all, when your week-long trial is over, Setapp is only $9.99 per month for continued access to the full Setapp catalog. Give it a try today!

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