Apply Pay – What? Why? And, How do I Use Apple Pay?


Apple Pay LogoApple Pay is Apple’s new instant pay service released with iOS 8.1. It allows you to securely store your credit and debit cards on your phone (or iPad) allowing your device to essentially become your wallet. When you make a purchase at a retailer that accepts Apple Pay, simply tap the Touch ID sensor on your iPhone while holding it close to the card scanner. “Presto” you have paid and checked out!. A confirmation of the transaction appears on your screen.

Apple Pay is more secure than traditional credit cards. It is faster and more convenient. You still have your same banks, credit cards companies and reward points. Apple Pay is basically encrypting your personal card information and allowing use when it recognizes your fingerprint on your device.

The service launched October 20th with over 220,000 retail locations accepting payment including Whole Foods, McDonald’s, Macy’s, Chevron gas, Petco and Panera Bread. Over 500 banks are using Apple Pay and major credit card networks include Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Thousands of retailers and banks have announced they will be accepting Apple Pay before the end of 2014.


Why use Apple Pay?

Companies with Hacked Credit Cards
A few companies who’s credit card info has been compromised

Plastic credit card technology with the magnetic strip is outdated, not secure and filled with fraudulent transactions. The Wall Street Journal online reported on September 23rd, that “…fraud losses from existing bank accounts rose 45% to 16 billion last year . . .”. A more secure solution has been sought after for years and Apple computer has been working with banks to find a solution. Apple Pay doesn’t replace the credit card company or banks but it keeps you from having to carry and use plastic cards that don’t have encrypted personal information. Hackers have successfully snatched millions of user account information from retailers such as Target, Home Depot, K-Mart and PF Changs. With Apple Pay, hackers cannot snatch your personal information because Apple Pay does not transmit it over the Internet. An encrypted single use “token” is sent but it doesn’t carry your personal details. Even if hackers could grab the token, they couldn’t decrypt it. If they could decrypt the token, it doesn’t contain your card information. The token is also single use so it can’t be reused. Apple Pay is a more secure, convenient and easy to use.


Apple Pay is supported on the following devices:

  • iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus – For retail and online purchases
  • iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 – Online purchases only

Setting up to use Apple Pay:

Francie Using Apple Pay at Whole Foods
Francie Using Apple Pay at Whole Foods Market
  • Install iOS 8.1. Go to Settings App > General > Software Update > Download and Install. You must be on a Wi-fI network and it is recommended that the device be plugged in.
  • Add your Credit and Debit Cards into Passbook App. Go to Passbook App. You can quickly add existing credit cards you have on file with iTunes by entering the iTunes security code. Add a new credit card by tapping +. Use your iPhone Camera to automatically enter the new card information or enter it manually. On your iPad Air 2 or iPad Mini 3, go to Settings > Passbook & Apple Pay > Add Credit or Debit Card to add cards.

NOTE: The card stored in iTunes is your default card for purchases. To change your default card go to Settings App > Passbook & Apple Pay.

How to Use Apple Pay

Apple Pay Confirmation Screen at Whole Foods
Apple Pay Confirmation Screen

At brick and mortar Retailers like McDonalds, Panera or Whole Foods, at checkout, simply hold your iPhone near the credit card scanner (the same one used to read plastic credit cards) then place your finger on Touch ID. You do not have to look at the screen and there is no need to open an app. A subtle vibration and beep lets you know that the payment information was successfully sent and you receive a confirmation on your screen.

At online retailers like Target, Apple Store, Uber, OpenTable, Groupon, Instacart, make sure you have the latest version of the retailer’s mobile app installed. To do check for app updates: Tap App Store > Updates > Update All. If Update All does not show in the upper right hand corner, then your apps are up to date.

Tap on the desired shopping app such as Target. Select a product(s) and go to checkout. Touch “Apple Pay” to checkout using Apple Pay.

What happens if you loose your iPhone?

Apple Pay in use in Target Mobile App
Apple Pay in Target Mobile App

Apple Pay requires the use of TouchID to actually make a purchase. If your phone is in the hands of another user, they should not be able to make purchases with Apple Pay.

It is best practice to have a passcode locking your device (Settings > Touch ID & Passcode). However, if you don’t have a passcode and someone accesses the Passbook app, the credit card number is not displayed or physically stored in the app.

In addition, by logging into from any device, you can remotely lock your device, which blocks the ability to make payments using Apple Pay.

Additional Security Information

Every time you use Apple Pay a unique transaction identifier is created, encrypted and stored in the “Secure Element” within your device. Your credit card numbers are not stored on Apple Servers or transferred over the Internet. Apple clearly states that your payment and transaction information are private and cannot be tied back to you. You never have to reveal your name, card number or security code to the cashier when you pay in a store.

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