How Apple Pay works and how to pay contactlessly with your mobile

What is Apple Pay

Apple Pay is an application for mobile phones running the iOS operating system, in practice iPhones, and the Apple Watch smartwatch, which allows a debit or credit card to be inserted into the phone, enabling contactless mobile payments where money is deducted from the inserted card.

Apple Pay is, in a way, a competitor to the similar Google Pay service, which is, however, designed for Android phones.

Once the card is successfully inserted into the app, contactless payments can be made by simply placing the phone on the contactless terminal. This is more convenient and enjoyable than taking the card out of the wallet and putting it back in again. Instead of entering the card’s PIN, the payment is verified by fingerprint verification or face scanning to verify identity.

Apple Pay is completely free for you, and in practice you just pay in a different way.

How Apple Pay works and how to add a card

The whole process is very simple and the only hitch can come if your bank doesn’t support Apple Pay, in which case you won’t be able to add a card to your iPhone. You’ll find supported banks below the guide.

  1. To add your card to Apple Pay, just open the Wallet app, which comes pre-installed on all iPhones and iPads. From there, click the + button and add the card by taking a picture of it or manually entering the details
  2. You’ll then be verified with your bank, at which point you may need to verify via SMS or similar, or your bank may require you to fill in some details. This step may vary depending on your bank and the level of verification
  3. Once your card has been verified by your bank, you can use Apple Pay

Supported banks for Apple Pay

These are the banks that support Apple Pay. If your bank is on the list, you can continue by following the instructions below the table. If your bank is not listed, you can try adding it anyway. It’s possible that the bank may have added support recently, so the table is not yet updated, although we will try to keep it up to date. You can always find an up-to-date list of supported banks right here on Apple’s website.

How to pay in stores with Apple Pay

To pay in-store, ask for a credit card. Payment is only possible at contactless terminals, so if you need to insert your card, mobile payment is not possible.

Now it depends on what authentication you use:

Paying with Face ID authentication

  • Press the side button twice and perform the Face ID verification
  • Hold the iPhone up to the contactless terminal
  • Wait for the tick symbol and Done

Pay with Touch ID authentication

  • Hold your finger on the middle button
  • Hold your finger still and place your phone against the contactless terminal
  • Wait for the tick symbol and Done

Pay with Apple Watch

  • Press the side button twice
  • Hold the display against the contactless terminal
  • Wait for a soft click

Is paying with Apple Pay secure?

It’s just as secure as paying by card. Authentication is done biometrically, by fingerprint or faceprint, instead of entering a pin. So even if you lose your phone, no one can pay with it, just like with a traditional card.

The advantage of Apple Pay is that the mobile phone does not actually store a card, but a so-called token. The token is a virtual card that is paired with your real plastic card, so whenever you pay with your mobile, it swipes money from your virtual card and the bank knows it was your account and swipes the money correctly.

Because your real card isn’t directly in your phone, it can’t be known by merchants and it can’t be read even if your phone is stolen. So if you lose your phone, just block the card in Apple Pay and your real card is safe.

Apple Pay, Google Pay or banking apps – which option is best?

Banks can offer their own solutions within mobile internet banking, which actually works in the same way as Apple Pay, they just only support their customers’ cards. The usage is actually the same, just like with Google Pay, which you’re more likely to choose if you don’t have an iPhone but some other Android phone.

But basically all the services except for the very details in, for example, identity verification, work the same and whichever one you use, you won’t notice any significant difference by switching to another one.

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