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How to set up and use Apple Pay on your Apple Watch

Apple offers a secure way to make contactless payments right from your watch.
By
April 20, 2022

Paying for things with your Apple Watch is quick, convenient, and simple to set up. Whether you’re a runner without a wallet at a pit stop, or a busy shopper with your hands full, checking out is as easy as turning your wrist.

Read more: Apple Watch buyer’s guide: Everything you need to know

QUICK ANSWER 

To set up Apple Pay on your Apple Watch, load a card in the Watch app on your paired iPhone. Once the card is verified, you can use Apple Pay at participating retailers. Double-click the side button on your device and hold your watch near the contactless payment terminal.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Set up Apple Pay on your watch

Set up Apple Pay on your paired iPhone in the Watch app. You will need either a physical card or your card’s information, including its security code.

  • Open the Watch app on your paired iPhone. Scroll down to and tap Wallet & Apple Pay.
  • If you already have a card loaded on another Apple device, tap Add and follow the onscreen prompts. If not, tap Add Card.
  • Review Apple’s information regarding data management. Tap Continue.
  • Select the type of card you would like to add by tapping either Debit or Credit Card or Transit Card.
  • Scan your card or tap Enter Card Details Manually and follow the onscreen prompts. You may need to verify your card with a numerical code you will receive via SMS.

How to use Apple Pay on your watch

An Apple Watch user activates Apple Pay on her device by double-tapping the side button.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Once Apple Pay is set up on your device, making purchases is simple. As long as you are shopping at a participating retailer, follow the steps below.

  • When you are ready to checkout, double-tap the side button on your Apple Watch. When your default card appears, you can swipe left and right to switch cards.
  • Turn your wrist, so your display faces toward the contactless payment terminal and hold it close until you hear a sound and feel a slight vibration.

Some countries have transaction limits for Apple Pay, so you may still need a physical card to make large purchases. Additionally, some stores may require a signature or PIN even when using contactless payments.


Read more: The most common Apple Watch problems and how to fix them

FAQs

Is Apple Pay safe on my Apple Watch?

Apple utilizes many security measures to keep data and payments safe while using Apple Pay on your watch. Additionally, all cards are removed from your wallet if you unpair your device or turn off your passcode. You must also enter your passcode each time you use Apple Pay if you turn off wrist detection.

Can you pay with an Apple Watch without an iPhone?

Absolutely. Once you complete the setup process for Apple Pay, you can make purchases regardless of whether you have your phone on hand.

Can you add transit cards?

Many transit cards are available to add to your Apple Pay wallet. Review the complete list to see if your transit agency is a participating system.