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How to use your iPhone to pay for things (Apple Pay)

Using your iPhone to make payments is easy. Once you get started, you won’t have to fumble around with a wallet and bank card again!

Let’s look at how it works and what the benefits are to using Apple Pay. Don’t forget to take out an insurance policy for your iPhone to protect your phone in case of loss, theft, or damage.

That way, you’ll be able to get a replacement and still carry on paying for things without having to return to your wallet.


The benefits of paying by phone

What’s in your wallet? There are coins, cards for everything from the local library to a coffee shop you went to three years ago, photos of loved ones, your driving licence, a couple of Euros hanging around from your last holiday…

You don’t need to lug all this around with you. Apple Pay is a way of paying using just your phone, so you simply wave the device at the card machine by the till, and you’re done.

Paying with your iPhone means you don’t need to carry a wallet, which reduces the risk of loss or theft.

It’s quick and convenient, not to mention hygienic – we all know that cash and purses are not the cleanest things in the world.

Apple Pay is also very safe – even if someone steals your phone, they probably won’t be able to make payments – see below for details.


What do you need in order to pay with an iPhone?

All you need is an iPhone and a bank card. Debit or credit cards from most of the large banks will work with Apple Pay. Small or less well-known banks might not work with Apple Pay.

If your iPhone is approaching ancient status, it might not support Apple Pay.

All models post iPhone 6 or iPhone 6plus with Face ID or Touch ID will let you use this payment method. You can check if your device supports Apple Pay here.

iPhones are not the only devices you can use to pay. Apple Watch and iPad can also be used for purchases and payments, or even Mac models with Touch ID.

These devices have an embedded near-field communication (NFC) chip, which is read by the card reader.

A person using their iPhone to pay at a till in a shop

When can you use Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is not only for payments in physical stores, shops, cafes and so on. It can be used within apps, on the web (using Safari browser), on buses and other transport systems, in Business Chat and even person to person, for example if you buy something from a friend.

The use of cash is falling rapidly in the UK. In 2009, cash was used for around 60% of payments. By 2029, the figure is predicted to be less than 10%. Between 2017 and 2018 alone, use of notes and coins declined 16%.

Younger people were early adopters of contactless payment methods (Apple Pay has been around since 2014), but older generations are beginning to catch up.

As of 2018, 8.5 million people in the UK were registered to make payments by phone, whether using Apple Pay or a rival system such as Google Pay or Samsung Pay. This represents around 16% of the adult population.

Around half (46%) of people who registered for this service made payments once a week or more.

Almost 30% of people aged between 16 and 44 are registered to make payments by phone, but the level falls to just over 15% for those aged 35 to 54 and just over 5% for those aged over 55.


How do you set up your iPhone for payments?

Once you have checked that your iPhone supports Apple Pay, go into the Apple Wallet app on your device and add whatever credit or debit cards you wish to use.

Simply open the Wallet app then go to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay > Add Credit or Debit Card. The phone will prompt you to use the phone camera to capture card details then you add further information as needed.

You will need to go through a verification process such as checking with your bank or entering a unique code from a text message. Then you’re all set to go.

If you change banks or have a new payment card, you simply follow the same process to remove old cards and add a new one. It’s as simple as that!

A person using their phone to pay a contactless payment on a payment machine

Apple Pay and authorisation

Payments by iPhone require some form of authorisation from you.

This is a security feature which prevents a thief from being able to make payments with a stolen phone.

Authorisation can be given either by entering your passcode, using Face ID to scan your face or Touch ID using your fingerprint.

You complete the authorisation method of your choice then, when prompted, hold the device close to the card reader and complete payment.

A small vibration confirms the transaction and a receipt is entered in the Wallet app.

Authorisation when using Apple Pay online and through apps works in a similar way – your iPhone will prompt you to authorise the transaction.


What happens if your iPhone is stolen?

The requirement to authorise each transaction with a passcode, facial ID or fingerprint means that someone cannot make payments simply because they have your phone.

This makes using Apple Pay safer than simply carrying a bank card around, which could be used for smaller contactless payments until cancelled.

Someone who gains access to your iPhone will be able to see your billing address and the last four digits of your stored payment cards, but that is all.

If you lose your iPhone or other Apple Pay device, you can put the gadget in Lost Mode using another device running on iOS.

This locks down the lost device, so no one else can access any data, including Apple Pay or Wallet data. You can also use Find My iPhone to completely wipe your iPhone of all data remotely.

To add another level of protection, why not take out iPhone cover? This may cover you for loss or damage to your device.

Some cover plans also provide a backup phone service, so you won’t be left without this essential device.

Get a quote for iPhone insurance from Gadget Cover today.

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