What is Apple Cash, how does it work & how to set it up?

Adam Rozsa
01.09.21
9 minute read

Apple Cash gives Apple users the ability to send or receive money via the Messages app on an Apple device—kind of like Venmo. It works like a debit card in that it’s on the Wallet app, you can load money on it, and you can transfer funds to a connected bank account.

The actual Apple Cash card is connected to Apple Pay, so you can use Apple Cash anywhere with the Apple Pay icon, but Apple Wallet, Cash, and Pay have different functions.

Wallet is where you store all of your payment cards—and other useful information—securely on an Apple device. Apple Cash is a payment method within Wallet. And Apple Pay is the contactless payment feature for use with merchants.

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📝 Table of contents

How does Apple Cash work?

With Apple Cash, users have the ability to send money to other Apple customers via the Messages app or with Siri—if the person is in your contacts. By default, if you send money via the Messages app, it will use Apple Cash.

You can also use another card in your Wallet to send money via Apple Cash or a combination of another card and the balance on your Apple Cash card. If anyone doesn’t accept a payment via Messages, you can cancel the payment.

Apple Cash works a lot like a debit card in that you can load money on it from other cards in your Wallet.

When you make purchases with your Apple Card—Apple’s credit card—you will receive a percentage back on those purchases that Apple calls Daily Cash. This percentage will load on to your Apple Cash account to use as you want.

Any money put on your Apple Cash card can be transferred to a bank account or instantly on to another debit card.

What do you need for Apple Cash?

Before you set up Apple Cash, there are some requirements you’ll need to meet.¹

  • You must live in the US and be 18 years of age or older.
  • You need a compatible Apple device running iOS 11.2 or later or watchOS 4.2 or later.
  • Two-factor authentication must be set up on your Apple ID account.
  • You must sign into iCloud on your Apple device with the same Apple ID you use for sending and receiving money—the one tied to the Wallet account you want to use.
  • Another debit card must be loaded into Wallet to add funds to the Apple Cash card.

Which devices support Apple Cash?

Apple Cash works through all Apple devices that use Apple Pay. You can use your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch to make an Apple Pay contactless payment that draws from your Apple Cash account.

what is apple cash

How to set up Apple Cash?

Once you meet the requirements listed above, open the Settings app on your Apple device, scroll down to Wallet & Apple Pay. Tap it and then turn Apple Cash on in the menu—it should read ‘Not Set Up’ just below.

Next, look under your Payment Cards, tap Apple Cash, and hit continue. The system will prompt you to read and agree to some terms and conditions. Once you tap agree, the software will automatically set up Apple Cash, and you should be able to see the Apple Cash card in your Wallet.

This process only sets up the card, so now when someone sends you money via Messages, it will default to the Apple Cash card. But you can also add money to your Apple Cash card via another debit card in your Wallet.

Adding money to Apple Cash

To add money to Apple Cash, open the Wallet app on your iPhone or Apple Watch, tap the Apple Cash card and tap the ellipsis—the three dots.

On an iPad, open your Settings, tap Wallet & Apple Pay, and then select the Apple Cash card.

From here, the next screen is the same on all devices.

Tap Add Money and enter an amount of at least $10.² Next, tap Add and confirm the debit card from your Wallet you want to use to add the funds. You can select a different card by tapping the ‘>’ icon next to the card.

Last, confirm your transfer by using your passcode, Touch ID or Face ID.

what is apple cash

How to send money through Apple Cash?

To send money through Apple Cash, you’ll utilize the Messages app. But before you send money, remember that you and the person you’re sending money to must:²

  • Have compatible Apple devices running the latest iOS or watchOS
  • Use Apple ID for two-factor authentication and be logged in to both iCloud and iMessage with the same Apple ID on the devices.
💡 Also, make sure that you have enough funds on your Apple Cash card.

Once you meet those requirements, use these steps to send money through Apple Cash on your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or through Siri.

iPhone and iPad

  1. Tap on the Messages icon to open the app, and then tap on an existing conversation or start a new one with the Apple user you want to send money to.
  2. Tap the Apple Pay button from the icons below your input bar. If you don’t see it, you may need to swipe or tap the App Store icon—it looks like three bars laying across each other to form the letter ‘A’—in order to reveal the button.
  3. Type in the amount you would like to send.
  4. Hit the pay button, and then tap the send button. This allows you to review and/or cancel the payment.
  5. Use Touch ID, your passcode or Face ID to confirm.

Apple Watch

  1. Tap the Messages icon to open the app and then tap on an existing conversation.
  2. Scroll down and tap on the Apple Pay button—it’s a blue circle with a dollar sign in the middle.
  3. Tap on the plus or minus buttons to adjust the amount you want to send.
  4. After you select the amount, you can tap on the amount in the message and use the Digital Crown to adjust it.
  5. Tap Pay and you’ll be able to review or cancel the payment.
  6. Double click the side button to confirm and send the payment.

Siri

Using an iPhone or Apple Watch, access Siri by saying, “Hey Siri.” Then, you can use a phrase like “Send 10 dollars to Adam for Starbucks.” Then, choose Wallet or Apple Pay and then select your Apple Cash card.

what is apple cash

How to request money through Apple Cash?

Like sending money, there’s a different process for the Apple Watch and the iPad and iPhone.

iPhone and iPad

To request money on an iPhone or iPad, open the Messages app and start a conversation with a contact or open an existing one. Then, tap the Apple Pay button—again, you may need to swipe or tap the App Store button to reveal it—and enter an amount. To finish, tap Request and then send the message.

Apple Watch

On your Apple Watch, open the Message app and open an existing conversation. Then, tap the Apple Pay button—the blue circle with a dollar sign—and enter an amount. Swipe the Pay button to reveal the Request button and tap to send.

How to respond to an Apple Cash request?

iPhone and iPad

To respond to an Apple Cash request on an iPhone or iPad, open the request within the Messages app and tap Pay. Then, review the amount and tap Pay if you want to pay it or change the amount. Last, confirm the payment using your passcode, Face ID, or Touch ID.

If you don’t want to pay the request, just ignore the message.

Apple Watch

On an Apple Watch, open the request via the Messages app and tap Pay. Review the amount first and then tap Pay if you want to pay it or change the amount. Then confirm the payment using Touch ID, Face ID, or your passcode.

what is apple cash

How to cancel an Apple Cash payment?

Canceling a payment isn’t that difficult, but it can take 1-3 days for the funds to return to your Apple Cash card.²

Simply open the Messages app and find the conversation where the payment was made. Open the conversation and tap on the payment. From there, your Wallet app will open to reveal your Apple Cash card.

Under ‘Latest Transactions’, find the payment you want to cancel and tap it twice. Then tap ‘Cancel Payment’. If you don’t see the ‘Cancel Payment’ button, the recipient has already accepted it. In this case, you’ll need to request the money back from them.

💡 If you have any issues with cancelling or getting money back that’s owed, it is recommended that you open a dispute with Apple Support.

what is apple cash

How to automatically or manually accept an Apple Cash payment?

With any of your devices you’ll have the option to select to either automatically or manually accept Apple Cash payments. If you select the manual option, you’ll see an Accept button in the message when someone sends an Apple Cash payment, and you’ll have seven days to accept the payment before it returns to the sender.²

Follow these instructions on the different Apple devices to toggle between the two options.

iPhone

On an iPhone, open the Wallet app and tap on your Apple Cash card. Then, tap the ellipsis button—the three dots. From there, you’ll be able to select either Automatically Accept Payments or Manually Accept Payments.

iPad

Open the settings app on your iPad and scroll down until you see Wallet & Apple Pay. Tap it and then select your Apple Cash card. From the menu, tap to select Automatically Accept Payments or Manually Accept Payments.

Apple Watch

Toggling between the two options for your Apple Watch requires your iPhone.

On your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app and scroll down and tap on Wallet & Apple Pay. Next, tap on your Apple Cash card, and select Automatically Accept Payments or Manually Accept Payments.

what is apple cash

How to set up Apple Cash for minors?

One of the requirements to use Apple Cash is that you must be 18 years old. However, through Apple Cash Family, you can set up Apple Cash for use by minors under your Family Sharing group.

In this mode, a minor can use an Apple Cash card to make purchases or send and receive money via Messages. Also, you have the ability to regulate who they send money to, receive a notification when they make a transaction, or lock the Apple Cash account.

To start, the family organizer of the Family Share account has to set up the Apple Cash account for the minor. And the organizer also must use the same Apple ID to set up the Apple Cash account as they used to set up the Family Sharing account.

Next, everyone on the Family Sharing group must meet these requirements:³

  • Have a compatible Apple device with the latest version of iOS
  • Everyone must sign in to iCloud using their Apple ID
  • Two-factor authentication must be turned on for each Apple ID
  • The device region must be set to the US

Once you have the Apple Cash account set up on the organizer’s account and everyone meets those requirements, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on the iPhone of the family organizer.
  2. Tap [name], and then tap Family Sharing
  3. Towards the bottom of the screen, tap Apple Cash and then tap the name of the minor.
  4. Follow the prompts on the screen to set things up. Just know you may need to verify your identity to finish the setup.
💡 After the set up, you can manage every member’s Apple Cash account from the Family Sharing group.

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Frequently asked questions

Are there any limits for Apple Cash?

Yes, there are a few limits for Apple Cash. Here’s the breakdown:⁴

Balance limits
Upon verifying your identity, Apple allows a max Apple Cash balance of $20,000. With Apple Cash Family, the max is $4,000.

Adding money
As stated earlier, you can only add money to Apple Cash from a debit or prepaid card that’s in your Wallet. When you add money from the debit or prepaid card, the minimum amount is $10 and the maximum is $10,000 per transaction. Also you can only add a maximum of $10,000 within a 7-day period.

For Apple Cash Family, the $10 minimum remains per transaction but the maximum decreases to $2,000. And you can only add up to $2,000 within a 7-day period.

Sending and receiving
When sending or receiving money, the minimum amount is $1 per message and the maximum is $10,000 per message. Also, you can only send or receive a maximum of $10,000 within a 7-day period.

For Apple Cash Family, you can send or receive a minimum of $1 per message or $2,000 max per message. You can only send or receive a maximum of $2,000 within a 7-day period.

Transferring to a bank account or a debit card

For an individual Apple Cash card:

  • You must transfer a minimum of $1 to your bank account or debit card, or you must transfer the full balance if it’s below $1.
  • The maximum for a single transfer to your bank account or debit card is $10,000.
  • You can only transfer up to $20,000 to your bank account or debit card within a 7-day period.
  • If you use the Instant Transfer option, a 1% fee will be deducted from the amount of each transfer. The minimum fee is $0.25 and the max is $10.
  • The limits don’t include the fees if you use Instant Transfer

For an Apple Cash Family account:

  • You must transfer a minimum of $1 to your bank account or debit card, or you must transfer the full balance if it’s below $1.
  • The maximum for a single transfer to your bank account or debit card is $2,000.
  • You can only transfer up to $4,000 to your bank account or debit card within a 7-day period.
  • The Instant Transfer fees are the same as above.

Is there a monthly fee for Apple cash?

No. There are no fees, and there is no credit check when setting up an Apple Cash.¹

Is Apple cash like Venmo?

Actually, yes! Apple Cash is similar to Venmo in that it is a payment service via messaging. The only difference is that Apple Cash is tied to your Apple ID.


Sources:

  1. Apple - Set up Apple Cash
  2. Apple - Send and Receive Money with Apple Pay
  3. Apple - Set up and use Apple Cash Family
  4. Apple - Apple Cash and person to person payments limits

All sources verified on 1 September 2021


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 TransferWise 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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