In this article we explain how to set up Apple Pay with your bank account and Apple Watch.

  1. Make sure you have a compatible Apple Watch running the latest version of watchOS
  2. Add your credit or debit card via the Apple Watch App on your iPhone
  3. Sync your iPhone with your Apple Watch
  4. Unlock your Apple Watch (it should remain unlocked the whole time it is on your wrist)
  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 the software on the Apple Watch.

How to add credit or debit card to Apple Watch

To set up Apple Pay on an Apple Watch, it's necessary to use the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

Unfortunately, even if you have already set up Apple Pay on your iOS device, you'll need to add your cards again to your Apple Watch. Luckily, as with the iPhone, 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
  2. Open the My Watch tab
  3. Begin by choosing to mirror the alerts that show on your iPhone, or choose Custom and select whether to have alerts come to your watch or not.
  4. Tap Wallet & Apple Pay
  5. You'll be prompted to enter your Apple ID password.
  6. 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 from the back of the card
  7. If you need to add a card you’ll be able to use your iPhone camera to scan the numbers
  8. If you want to add another card, tap "Add Another Card", then follow the entry fields on the next screen.
  9. Confirm that the details are correct.
  10. Tap Next.
  11. Wait while your bank or card issuer verifies your information
  12. If you need to add more information, go to Wallet & Apple Pay and tap your card
  13. Once your card is verified you can use Apple Pay on your Watch

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 button underneath the Digital Crown.
  2. When you press this button twice it will bring up your default Apple Pay card.
  3. Your other cards are available too so select a different one if you prefer.
  4. Once you pick the card you want to use, just hold your Watch within a few centimeters of the contactless payment terminal until you hear a beep and/or feel a vibration.
  5. At some retailers you may still need to enter your PIN to complete the transaction.

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.