In this article we explain how to set up Apple Pay so that you can use your iPhone to pay for things using your bank debit or credit card.

You will need to do the following to use Apple Pay on the iPhone, we how to do each step below.

  1. Make sure you have a compatible iPhone running the latest version of iOS
  2. Add your credit or debit card to the Apple Wallet app
  3. Hold your Apple iPhone up to a payment terminal
  4. Use your fingerprint, passcode, or, soon, FaceID to confirm your identity

Which iPhones can use Apple Pay?

You'll need a compatible iPhone running the latest version of iOS (find out about the latest version of iOS here).

  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone SE

Apple Pay can also be used on the Apple Watch, read How to use Apple Pay on the Apple Watch here.

How to add credit or debit card to an iPhone to use with Apple Pay

As long as your bank is offering Apple Pay you will be able to add your credit or debit cards to use with Apple Pay. You can find out which banks offer Apple Pay here.

Before you can use Apple Pay on your iPhone you will need to add your credit and debit cards to the Wallet app. If you have more than one device you wish to use Apple Pay on, you will need to add your card details to each device.

  1. Open the Wallet app
  2. Tap on the + sign (in the right corner)
  3. Tap on Continue
  4. Above Add Card you will see a box. Angle the camera so that your card appears inside the box
  5. It may take a few moments but the Wallet app should recognise the numbers
  6. The next screen will show you the Card Details with your Name ad Card number automatically added
  7. Verify that the data is correct, or amend it if it is wrong.
  8. Tap Next.
  9. On the next page you will see your Expiry Date, check this is correct and amend if necessary
  10. Add your 3-digit security code from the back of your device.
  11. Apple will contact your card issues and then add the card.
  12. Then it will Set up Apple Pay for that card.
  13. (You may find that you already have a card associated with your Apple ID, in which case you may only be asked for the security code)
  14. If you have another card to add tap the + sign again

You can also add a card via Settings on your iPhone 

  1. Opening Settings
  2. Scroll to Wallet & Apple Pay
  3. Add Credit or Debit Card
  4. If you have any other cards they will be listed here with only the last four digits showing

Note: The verification stage doesn't necessarily have to happen at the same time that you added the card: you can come back later and verify a card that added a card earlier. Just go to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay, or open Wallet again.

How to pay with Apple Pay on the iPhone

To pay using Apple Pay on your iPhone in a shop follow these instructions:

  1. Hold your iPhone up to the contactless payment terminal near the cash register (within one inch, officially)
  2. Tap your Touch ID button with the finger you have associated with your ID to complete your purchase
  3. If Touch ID doesn’t work, or isn’t set up on your device, you will be asked for your passcode to unlock your iPhone.

Note: You don't even need to wake up your iPhone or launch Wallet to use Apple Pay: your phone wakes up as soon as it gets in range of a terminal and initiates the payment process.

How to change the card you pay with in Apple Pay

If you are wanting to pay with a different card to the one that you usually use in Apple Pay you can change the card in the Wallet app (assuming it is set up and verified). Here's what to do:

  1. Double Tap the Home Button on your iPhone
  2. This will bring up your default card and the other cards stacked below it
  3. Find the card you want to use and tap on it

You can also change the card that you use as the default, we will explain how below.

How to choose a default card for Apple Pay

  1. Open Settings
  2. Scroll to Wallet & Apple Pay
  3. Scroll to Default Card
  4. Tap on the card that’s there to be taken to a page showing all the cards you have set up for Apple Pay
  5. Tap on the card you wish to use as your default

Apple Pay isn't appearing on my iPhone. How can I activate it?

Some users have reported that the option to add their credit and debit cards for use with Apple Pay isn’t available within the Wallet app or the Settings menu. Don't worry, though, as this is easily remedied and you'll be using Apple Pay in no time.

  1. To manually activate Apple Pay on your iPhone, you need to head to the Settings app. Once in the Settings app, go to Language & Region, tap on the Region (which should say United Kingdom) and change it to United States. Once changed, simply restart your iPhone. 
  2. Once your iPhone has restarted, open the Wallet app. From here, you should be able to add your (supported) credit or debit cards to be used with Apple Pay - see above for full instructions.
  3. After you've successfully added all your credit or debit cards to Apple Pay, simply head back into the Settings app and change the Region back from United States to United Kingdom. Once you've changed the region, restart your iPhone again and Apple Pay should be accessible along with the debit or credit cards you've just added

Using Apple Pay in the car

UK law states that if you use your phone while driving you could get six points on your licence and be fined £200. This has lead to questions regarding whether you can use Apple Pay on your phone to pay for your burger at a McDonalds drive-through.

According to the GMP Traffic twitter account, as long as your engine is turned off and your handbrake applied it should be ok - if on the other hand you are driving your car through the drive-through while using your phone then you could be penalised, theoretically.

We think it’s unlikely that the police will be hanging around drive-throughs looking for people using their phones, but it’s something to bear in mind.

How to use Apple Pay on your iPhone to make payments in apps

If you like to do your shopping inside an app rather than inside a supermarket, you can also use Apple Pay (presuming, of course, that the app works with Apple Pay).

Depending on the app, you may have to toggle on a setting to allow the app to access Apple Pay, or to set Apple Pay as your default method of payment.

At the appropriate point in the transaction, tap the button to use Apple Pay. This will be labelled with 'Buy with Apple Pay', or may just have the Apple Pay logo.

Check that the details are correct, as you would with any credit/debit card payment. Make sure the payment information and contact details are right and enter any additional information that is requested. (Apple Pay is clever about things like this. You should only need to enter things like billing addresses once, because it will remember them and offer them automatically next time.)
Put your finger on the Touch ID scanner to complete the payment.