Apple Pay is extremely convenient and useful for paying in-store, online, in-app, or to friends. It’s available on the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac. Follow along as we walk you through how to get started with Apple Pay.

First and foremost, you’ll need to check whether or not your bank or credit union supports Apple Pay.

How to set up Apple Pay on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac

On iPhone or iPad:

  1. Fire up Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay > Add Credit or Debit Card. If your iTunes & App Store account already has a compatible card on file, iOS will automatically recommend adding it to Apple Pay, if not you’ll need to either take a snapshot of your card, or enter it manually.
  2. Depending on your bank, you’ll need to verify via phone, SMS, or e-mail. Most large banks will send you an SMS verification code, while others may require you to call the bank to verify your identity. This process can be immediate, or sometimes take several days to complete depending on your bank.
  3. Once verification is complete, you’re all set up! Now you’ll be able to tap your iPhone at any store, restaurant, or gas station that accepts contactless payments, use it in apps, on the web, or send/receive money from friends or family through iMessage.

On Apple Watch:

  1. The Apple Watch is similar to an iPhone or iPad. Head into the Watch app on your iPhone > Wallet & Apple Pay > Add Credit or Debit Card. If you’ve already setup your cards on your iPhone, this will be fairy painless as it typically grabs all the information from your iPhone over, typically only requiring your CVV code to be entered.
  2. However, if this is your first time adding cards on your iPhone or Apple Watch, you’ll need to either take a snapshot of your card with your iPhone’s camera, or enter it manually.
  3. Depending on your bank, you’ll need to verify via phone, SMS, or e-mail. Most large banks will send you an SMS verification code, while others may require you to call the bank to verify your identity. This process can be immediate, or sometimes take several days to complete depending on your bank.
  4. Once verification is complete, you’re all set up! Now you’ll be able to tap your Apple Pay at any store, restaurant, or gas station that accepts contactless payments, use it in apps, on the web, or send/receive money from friends or family through iMessage. Note that you don’t need to be paired with your iPhone, nor do you need an internet connection for Apple Pay to work on your Apple Watch.
  5. To initiate Apple Pay, you’ll need to double tap the side button (the one that isn’t the crown). If you have multiple cards, you can swipe through the cards left or right.

On MacBook Pro with Touch Bar:

  1. If you own a 2016 or later MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (so this excludes the MacBook Pro with function row/two Thunderbolt 3 ports), you’ll be able to setup Apple Pay here, as well. You’ll want to tap the Apple logo on the top left > System Preferences > Wallet & Apple Pay > and then tap the “+” button.
  2. You have the choice between snapping a photo with your FaceTime camera or adding the details manually.
  3. Depending on your bank, you’ll need to verify via phone, SMS, or e-mail. Most large banks will send you an SMS verification code, while others may require you to call the bank to verify your identity. This process can be immediate, or sometimes take several days to complete depending on your bank.
  4. Once verification is complete, you’re all set up! Now you’ll be able to make purchases through Safari with Apple Pay by using the Touch ID sensor located on the top right of your keyboard.

On Macs without Touch Bar:

  1. Even if your Mac doesn’t support Apple Pay natively, there’s an option (found in Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay for iPhone and iPad, or Watch app > Wallet & Apple Pay for Apple Watch) called Allow Payments on Mac. Go ahead and enable that feature.
  2. Once enabled, you can simply visit any site that supports Apple Pay in Safari, hit the “Pay with Pay” or “Pay” button (as shown above), and authenticate with your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch.

While the process is different for each device, the outcome is the same. The ability to shop securely in apps, on the web, or in physical locations. You can even send and receive money with Apple Pay Cash through iMessage.

On the iPhone, you can either double tap the side button (formerly known as sleep/wake) on the iPhone X to initiate it, or by double tapping the Home button on other iPhones. Or, you can simply hover your phone over a payment terminal and it will automatically appear. You’ll just need to either authenticate with Touch ID or Face ID.

For checking out on the web or in-app on iPad, Mac, or iPhone, look for the “pay with Apple Pay” button in Safari (or in app with the iPad). The same rules apply, simply authenticate with Touch ID or Face ID and you’re good to go.

On your Apple Watch, you can double tap the side button to pay at terminals, or in certain apps you can double tap the side button to pay. Since your Apple Watch is passcode locked, you don’t need any form of authentication here as Apple Watch automatically locks when not on your wrist.

Read more about Apple Pay Cash and how to use it here.

For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following articles:


Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

About the Author