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Apple Pay is a digital wallet that allows you to make contactless purchases in-store or online using just your iPhone or Apple device, without your physical debit card. Learn how Apple Pay works, how to set it up and how it compares to other digital wallet solutions in this guide, plus see a comprehensive list of the German banks that currently offer Apple Pay.
*Note: Not every provider in the below list is licenced as a “bank”.
|Bank / Provider||Apple Pay supported|
|Bank of America|
|Wise (formerly TransferWise)|
Apple Pay is a digital wallet that securely stores your debit or credit card information within the app. Apple Pay can replace your physical debit card, meaning you can go out with just your phone and still make purchases. You can use the app to make contactless payments in-store and online using just your iPhone or Apple device, such as an Apple Watch.
In simple terms, Apple Pay is a digital version of your existing wallet. By downloading Apple Pay, you can make purchases with your phone by tapping the terminal in the same way that you’d use your debit card to make a contactless payment. Because all your card information is securely stored within the app, it’s very similar to using your physical debit card to tap and go.
To get a bit more technical, Apple Pay uses a near-field-communication (NFC) chip within your smartphone or Apple device to connect to a terminal in replace of your debit card. This chip communicates to a merchant’s point of sale payment terminal and enables the payment to be processed in the same way that a debit card works. This process all happens within seconds of tapping your smartphone or Apple device on the terminal.
Setting up Apple Pay is much easier than you’d think. You just need to follow these two simple steps:
In order to verify the transaction, you’ll be required to use your fingerprint or face ID when making payments with Apple Pay. Just like the simple set-up process, this is less complicated than it sounds. If you’re using an iPhone 8 or earlier device, when making a payment with Apple Pay, you need to open the Wallet, rest your finger on the Touch ID reader (the middle button on your phone) and hover your phone above the payment terminal. The payment will be made with your default card unless you select to use another.
Face ID on iPhone X works in a similar way, except instead of using your fingerprint you need to double-click the side button on your phone then look at the Face ID symbol on the screen. Your phone will register that it’s you, and then enable you to make a payment by again hovering your phone above the contactless terminal. This may sound fiddly and complicated, but it actually only takes a couple of seconds in total.
Yes! Apple Pay uses a number specific to your device in combination with a unique transaction code when you make a purchase. This means that your debit card details, such as the card number and expiry date, aren’t actually stored on your device or by Apple. Plus, you need to use Touch ID or enter a PIN number each time you make a payment with Apple Pay.
In many ways, it’s actually safer than using your physical debit card to make purchases. You can easily misplace your debit card or leave it visible for people to copy the card number. However, most people need to enter a PIN number to unlock their smartphone, or even require their own fingerprint to unlock their phone. On top of this, you’re required to use Touch ID, Face ID or enter a PIN when making a payment.
With Apple Watch, you can make payments with the flick of your wrist. The benefit of an Apple Watch is that you can travel even lighter, meaning you can still make purchases without your physical wallet or even your phone. An example of when an Apple Watch would be handy is if you’re going for a run and you don’t want to have to carry your phone with you, but you’d like to be able to purchase a post-run coffee.
To use Apple Pay on your Apple Watch, you’ll first need to add your card to the watch. You can do this via the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Once your card is successfully added, you can use your Apple Watch to make purchases. You need to double-click the side button on the watch and hover the screen above the EFTPOS terminal. You’ll feel a slight tap or vibration, meaning that your purchase has been successful.
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