How to use Apple Pay online and in stores? (Full guide)

Adam Rozsa

Wondering how to use Apple Pay? It’s a convenient option for online and in person shopping. Any physical merchant that accepts contactless payments can usually also accept Apple Pay, so you can use your phone or even pay on your Apple Watch. Easy.

This guide covers how to get set up with Apple Pay, and how to use Apple Pay in store. We’ll also cover how to use Apple Pay to send money - and introduce the Wise card, which can be used with Apple Pay to cut the costs of spending in 50+ currencies.

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How to set up Apple Pay?

Apple Pay can be a super handy way to pay for things online and in person. You can use it in the US, or choose to use Apple Pay internationally. You may even be able to use Apple Pay at an ATM. But first you need to get Apple Pay working on your preferred device.

Here’s how to set up Apple Pay by adding a credit or debit card, including the Apple Card, using the Wallet app on your iPhone or Apple Watch. We’ll also cover how to set up Apple Pay on iPads and Macs - handy for when you’re shopping online or in apps.


One of the easiest ways to set up Apple Pay is on your phone. All you need to do is add a credit or debit card, which is pretty much as simple as opening the Apple Wallet and scanning the card you want to add¹:

  • Log into your phone and open Wallet
  • Tap the + symbol in the top right of the screen
  • Pick the option to add a debit or credit card
  • Confirm agreement to the Apple terms and conditions
  • Scan your card or enter the card details manually

Apple Watch

Got an Apple Watch? Add Apple Pay there too, to pay when you’re out and about. Here’s how to add a card and get Apple Pay set up²:

  • Log into your phone and open the Apple Watch app
  • Tap My Watch, then Wallet and Apple Pay
  • Tap Add Card and follow the instructions to add your new card

If you already have cards set up on other Apple devices, you’ll be able to add these within the watch simply by selecting the card you want, tapping Add and entering the card CVV code. Your bank might need you to take a further verification step before you can use Apple Pay on your Apple Watch.

iPad & Mac

You can add Apple Pay to your Mac or iPad also.

You’ll need to double-check your device is compatible if you have an iPad - this will be based on the operating system you have on the device. For Mac, you’ll need a device which has Touch ID and can then use Apple Pay to spend online easily.

Here’s how to add a card to Apple Pay on the Mac or iPad³:

  • Choose Apple Menu, System Settings (on a Mac) or Settings (on an iPad)
  • Then select Wallet and Apple Pay
  • Click the option to add a debit or credit card
  • Hold your card in front of the Mac or iPad’s camera to scan, or enter the card details manually

Get a Wise card for low cost international spending on the move with Apple Pay

If you travel overseas, or spend online with retailers based internationally, you could cut the costs of currency conversion with a Wise card.

Order a Wise card online or in the Wise app for a one time fee of 9 USD, and hold, exchange, send and spend 50+ currencies with the mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees every time. For even more convenience, you can connect your Wise card to Apple Pay for mobile spending - and top up your Wise Account with Apple Pay, too.

Order a Wise card today

Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing: Only Pay for What You Use for the most up-to-date pricing and fee information.

How to use Apple Pay?

Apple Pay works to allow Apple device users to add card details to their Apple digital wallet, to make contactless payments out and about, without needing to carry any physical cards. Just hold your phone near the payment terminal and double-click the side button - if your phone has Touch ID, you don’t even need to enter your passcode(see Apple Pay alternatives).

Let’s walk through the different options, covering how to use Apple Pay on an iPhone and how to use Apple Pay on an Apple Watch.

How do you pay with Apple Pay on iPhone & Apple Watch?

If you’re in a store and want to pay with Apple Pay on your iPhone or Apple Watch, all you need to do is:

  • Double tap the button on the right of the phone or watch
  • Select the card you want to pay with - your default card will show first, but you can pick any card you’ve linked to your Wallet
  • If you are using your phone - enter your passcode, use Face ID or Touch ID to verify the payment
  • Hold your phone or watch near the payment terminal
  • Your payment will go through - just like using a contactless payment card

If you’re paying online, it’s even easier. Simply choose Apple Pay as the payment option when you’re at checkout and follow the prompts to enter your passcode or biometrics. You won’t need to enter your shipping or billing information, as it’ll prepopulate the store’s checkout - just review everything and confirm the transaction.

Send money using Apple Cash (Messages)

In the US, you can also send money using Apple Cash to other Apple users with eligible devices. Here’s how to send money with Apple Pay:

  1. Open an existing Messages conversation with the person you want to send money to (or start a new conversation if you’d prefer)
  2. Tap the Apple Pay button
  3. Enter the amount you would like to send
  4. Tap Pay and then Send
  5. Confirm the payment with your passcode or biometrics

Learn more about how to request money with Apple Pay here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use Apple Pay for the first time?

To use Apple Pay, you’ll first need to add your preferred debit or credit card, following the instructions in the Wallet app.

Do I need to open Wallet to use Apple Pay?

You don’t need to open Wallet to pay with Apple Pay - just double-click the button on the right of your phone or watch.

  1. Apple support - set up Apple Pay iPhone
  2. Apple support - set up Apple Pay Apple Watch
  3. Apple support - set up Apple Pay on Mac

All sources checked on 19 December 2022

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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