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How To Set Up Apple Pay Step by Step

a close up of a phone displaying apple pay

Apple Pay is a convenient, easy way to store payment information on your Apple iPhone or other Apple device, plus make payments quickly and easily to supported vendors. With Apple Pay, you can simply touch your phone to a register or POS system and transfer payments instantaneously without having to take out a card or wait for several seconds. Apple Pay also allows you to send money quickly and easily to other Apple users.

But just how do you set up Apple Pay, and what if your phone has trouble doing so? Let’s take a look at how to set up Apple Pay step-by-step.

What Do You Need To Use Apple Pay?

In order to use Wallet & Apple Pay, you first have to have a compatible device. This includes most of the recent iPhone devices. Just make sure that your chosen device has the latest version of iOS or the subsidiary operating systems, including iPadOS, watchOS, and macOS, if you want to use Apple Cash or an Apple Card in stores for contactless payments.

You'll also need a supported card from a participating card issuer. These include all the major credit and debit card companies, like Visa, MasterCard, etc. Lastly, you'll want to have an Apple ID and be signed in to your chosen Apple device.

Since you have an iPhone or other Apple device, we’ll assume you already have an Apple ID going forward. Now let’s look at how to set up Apple Pay step-by-step, starting with setting it up on an iPhone.

Step 1 – Open the Wallet App

First, open the Wallet app on your iPhone. The Wallet app is a default application, so your iPhone should have it if it isn't jailbroken.

Step 2 – Add a Debit or Credit Card

Next, tap the Add button, which should look like a +. Tap Debit or Credit Card to add a new card to your Wallet app. If you’ve already set up Apple Pay, you can tap Previous Cards to add a credit or debit card you used previously.

Tap Continue, then follow the remaining steps on the screen to finish adding your card to your iPhone, after which stores that accept Apple Pay will be able to access your card details.

Step 3 – Verify Your information

Now it’s time to verify your information with your card issuer or bank. This isn’t always necessary, but if it is, they may ask you to provide additional information, like your account number, or have you download a proprietary app before they approve your card to be used with Apple Pay.

They may also use test transactions, such as requiring your Apple Pay device to make small deposits or one or two cents, before approving larger transactions.

Once you’ve verified your information, congratulations! Apple Pay is now set up on your Apple iPhone device.

Step 4 – Decide Whether to Add the Card to Your Apple Watch

You can also take an extra step to add the card you just put into your Wallet app to your Apple Watch. This option is at the very end of the step sequence.

How Do You Set Up Apple Pay on an Apple Watch?

What if you want to set up Apple Pay on an Apple Watch specifically? The steps to do this are also very straightforward and easy to follow.

Step 1 – Open the Watch App

First, open the Watch app on your paired iPhone device. You must have a paired iPhone to complete this sequence.

Step 2 – Add a Card

Next, go to the My Watch tab, tap on Wallet, then Apple Pay. Tap Add Card to follow the same sequence as described above. You can add an approved debit or credit card to your Apple Watch or tap Previous Card to add a card you previously used.

Tap Continue when you are done and follow the remaining steps.

Step 3 – Verify Your Information

You may still need to verify your information with your bank or credit card issuer. They might want you to download a proprietary app or ask you for extra information before they approve your card to be used on your Apple Watch.

How Do You Set Up Apple Pay on an iPad or Mac?

You can even set up Apple Pay on an iPad or Mac device. This allows you to use the same payment system across all your Apple devices and platforms.

Step 1 – Open the Wallet Settings

First, open the Wallet settings of your iPad or Mac computer. If your Mac computer has Touch ID, go to System Preferences, then Wallet and Apple Pay.

If you are using an iPad, go to Settings, Wallet, and Apple Pay.

Step 2 – Add a Card

Next, tap Add Card, and follow the steps on the screen to add your credit or debit card.

Step 3 – Verify Your Information

Once more, you may need to verify your information with your bank or credit card issuer. If you had to do this with your Apple Watch or your iPhone, odds are you'll also need to do it with your iPad or Mac device.

What if You Can’t Set Up Apple Pay?

Sometimes, you might have difficulty adding a debit or credit card to your Apple Wallet. Since Wallet is the baseline platform through which Apple Pay functions, a glitch here will prevent you from using Apple Pay at all.

To prevent this from happening:

  • Make sure that you are signed into iCloud on all of your Apple devices. Depending on the device you use, you may need to set up Touch ID, Face ID, or a dedicated passcode. For example, on an Apple Watch, you have to set up a passcode.
  • If you are younger than 13, Apple Pay will not be available no matter what approval you get, so you won’t be able to add a card to your Wallet app.
  • If you live on the China mainland, you can only use Apple Pay on the web using the Safari app on compatible iPhone and iPad models. Other countries may have different or similar limitations as well.

Be sure to read up on the age restrictions and device limitations that may apply to your device and your bank account. This can prevent you from setting up Apple Pay even if you follow the above steps to the letter.

Try Navi Today

Setting up Apple Pay is pretty straightforward, no matter which Apple device you have. However, if your current device doesn’t support Apple Pay, you might be in the market for a new Apple device, like a brand-new iPhone.

Navi’s Phone Navigator service can help you find the perfect Apple phone for your needs. Whether that’s a brand-new iPhone 14 or an older generation iPhone, our Phone Navigator service will find you the best deal based on your budget. Try it today.

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