Is Apple Pay safe?

Gabriela Peratello

Apple Pay¹ allows you to link eligible credit, debit and reward cards to your phone to make mobile payments and benefit from loyalty schemes with a simple contactless tap of your phone.

It’s super convenient — but how safe is Apple Pay? This guide explains it all.

Which safety features does Apple Pay have?

So then, how secure is Apple Pay? To understand this it helps to know how Apple Pay works.

To make a payment with Apple Pay you’ll need to add an eligible credit, debit or prepaid card. However, the sensitive details on your card aren’t stored on your phone.

In fact, Apple doesn’t store, access or retain any of your card numbers, so the information about what you’re spending and when is just between you, the seller and your bank.

🔐 Here are some of the steps Apple Pay has in place to make sure it’s safe to use²:
  • Security features are built into the hardware and software of your Apple phone

  • Apple Pay requires you to enter your passcode, use Face ID or Touch ID to make a payments

  • If you add a card by scanning it with the phone’s camera the image isn’t saved on your device or photo library

  • Any card information required to make a transaction is encrypted and held on secure servers in such a way that Apple can’t actually get this information for itself

  • Instead, the card issuer will create an encrypted device specific key, which Apple can’t decrypt — this is used to verify payments, and can be turned on and off by the user as required

Is there anything you could do to enhance Apple Pay security?

Apple Pay is pretty safe to use — but you can also take a few steps to make sure your payment is as secure as possible:

  • Set a secure passcode for your phone and never share it³

  • Enable the option to prompt a passcode every time the screen locks

  • Use Face ID or Touch ID if possible

  • Turn on Find my iPhone so you can manage your phone remotely if it is ever lost⁴

What are the biggest risks of using Apple Pay?

Apple does a whole lot to keep users safe. But there are criminals and fraudsters out there who look for ever more innovative ways to get their hands on your hard earned money.

The good news is that the biggest risks of using Apple Pay are entirely avoidable — Apple Pay users may not use a strong enough passcode, fail to enable 2-factor authentication (2FA), or simply tell someone else their security details.

This means that by taking some basic common sense precautions you can use Apple Pay safely.

That said, there are a couple of other potential issues to bear in mind, albeit relatively low level risks for the majority of Apple Pay users:

  • Using Apple Pay with a jailbroken phone — which has had its software altered — could leave you vulnerable to fraud
  • User error on the part of merchants may cause issues in the event that hackers exploit vulnerabilities created by carelessness
  • Researchers have suggested that under very specific circumstances, hackers could bypass contactless payment limits and process fraudulent payments

Overall though, users and analysis seem to agree that Apple Pay — used properly — is pretty safe, and certainly a whole lot safer than carrying around cash or handing your card over to a merchant for a magnetic swipe payment.

Send money abroad using Apple Pay with Wise


Need to send money to someone overseas? Get the security and convenience you love, with low-cost international transfers from Wise, powered by Apple Pay.

Wise international payments always use the mid-market exchange rate, with transfers supported to 80+ countries.

Arrange your payment conveniently online or in the Wise app, and just select Apple Pay when you’re prompted to add the payment method.

No need to add your card details or arrange a bank transfer — just a couple of taps and you’re done.

Another smart way to save when you use Apple Pay internationally is to get a Wise international debit card for a low, one time fee. You’ll be able to hold and exchange 50+ currencies, and spend in 174 countries with no foreign transaction fees.

You just pay a low, transparent fee to convert your currencies with the mid-market rate, or let the card do it for you. Add your Wise card to Apple Pay for easy contactless and mobile payments, and you can save as you spend — all over the world.

Get started with Wise

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

What should you do if your phone gets lost or stolen?

So Apple Pay has a pretty impressive range of security features while you use it day to day — but the obvious question then is: is Apple Pay safe if I lost my phone?

The good news is that there are steps you can take if you lose your Apple Pay enabled phone. If you’ve misplaced your phone but think it’ll be found soon and simply want to temporarily stop Apple Pay:

  • If you have Find my iPhone, use this to switch your phone to Lost mode which means Apple Pay can’t be used
  • Go to your Apple ID account page using a different device and switch off the ability to pay with card using Apple Pay on the lost phone

And if your phone has been stolen or entirely lost and you want to completely stop Apple Pay card payments:

  • If you’re sure the phone is gone, use Find my iPhone to erase your device remotely, which suspends all payment cards from Apple Pay immediately
  • Contact your bank or card issuer to cancel or block the cards so no payments can be made — your cards will have to be replaced by the bank as they’ll be suspended entirely

Apple Pay has a really great range of automatic and manual processes to stop fraud and keep customers safe, from the hardware built into your phone, to the layers of security you can add through 2-factor authorization.

You can be reassured that Apple pay is safe to use as long as you take basic common sense precautions — happy spending!


  1. Apple Pay
  2. Apple Pay - Security
  3. Apple - Passcode
  4. Apple - Find my iPhone

Sources checked on 09.19.2022

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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