In this article we explain how to set up Apple Pay with your bank account and Apple Watch, and then use the watch to make payments in shops or on public transport. If you'd prefer to use your phone, you can read about how to use Apple Pay with your iPhone.

Here in brief is how to use Apple Pay on an Apple Watch.We explain things in more depth below.

  1. Add your credit or debit card via the Apple Watch App on your iPhone.
  2. Sync your iPhone with your Apple Watch.
  3. Unlock your Apple Watch, if necessary.
  4. Double-press the side button.
  5. Hold your Apple Watch up to a payment terminal.

Which Apple Watches can use Apple Pay?

Any generation of Apple Watch can use Apple Pay, but you should update the software to the latest generation of watchOS. Find out how to do that here: How to update watchOS on an Apple Watch.

Add a credit or debit card

Annoyingly, even if you've already set up Apple Pay on your iOS device, you'll need to add your cards again to your Apple Watch. Luckily you can use the iPhone's camera to capture the data from the front of the card.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Make sure you're in the My Watch tab.
  2. Scroll down and tap Wallet & Apple Pay.
  3. Tap 'Add Credit or Debit Card', then follow the entry fields on the next screen.
  4. Confirm that the details are correct.
  5. Tap Next.
  6. Wait while your bank or card issuer verifies your information.
  7. Once your card is verified you can use Apple Pay on your Watch.

You may have a card already set up for your Apple ID, in which case you may just be able to enter your security code.

How to use your Apple Watch to pay in stores

If you want to buy something with your Apple Watch in a shop, this is what you need to do:

  1. Double-press the side button - the one underneath the Digital Crown dial.
  2. This will bring up your default Apple Pay card. Your other cards are available too, so select a different one if you prefer.
  3. Once you pick the card you want to use, hold your watch within a few centimetres of the contactless payment terminal until you hear a beep and/or feel a vibration. There may also be a light on the reader.
  4. At some retailers you may still need to enter your PIN to complete the transaction.

The process is the same when paying on public transport - double-tap the side button, select the right card and hold the watch over the pad that reads Oyster Cards or whatever the equivalent is for the system you're using. TfL in London recommends that you hold the watch an inch from the yellow card reader within one minute of selecting the card.

The best part of using Apple Pay on the Apple Watch is you don't need to have your iPhone with you to use it. You could leave your phone at home, go for a run using the Workout app on your watch, and then pop into Waitrose on your way home to buy a bottle of water.