Apple Pay: How to Set It Up and Where to Use It

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Apple Pay, the iPhone maker’s new mobile payments system, went live on October 20 as part of the latest iOS 8.1 update. This means that owners of the latest iOS-based devices can now start using their devices as digital wallets at participating retailers with NFC readers or through compatible apps. Of course, before you run out and try to purchase something with Apple Pay, you’ll need to first set up your device. Here are the four easy steps to setting up and using Apple Pay on your iPhone or iPad after you have downloaded the latest iOS 8.1 update.

Make sure you have a compatible Apple device

Apple Pay can only be used with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3. While the iPhone 5S has a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, it lacks the Secure Element chip that is required to operate Apple Pay. The Apple Watch, which is scheduled to be released in early 2015, will also be compatible with Apple Pay.

There are two different ways to use Apple Pay. The first utilizes NFC (Near Field Communications) technology and a user’s Touch ID authorization to enable a contactless payment for transactions at brick-and-mortar stores. The second way to use Apple Pay is to make an online purchase through a merchant’s app by authorizing payment with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both include an NFC chip and can be used to make Apple Pay purchases in physical retail stores or through compatible apps. The iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 do not have NFC chips and so can only be used for making online purchases through apps.

Source: Apple

Add credit or debit cards to Passbook

After you have verified that you have an Apple Pay-compatible device, the next step is to add your debit and/or credit cards to the Passbook app. Apple Pay works with cards issued by the three major credit card companies: Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Apple Pay also works with debit and credit cards issued by many banks, including Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo. You can check to see if your card issuer is compatible with Apple Pay by looking at the list of participating financial institutions at Apple’s website, or by contacting your card issuer directly.

To add a card to your device, start by opening the Passbook app and tapping the plus-sign icon. You will be given the option to add a card that you already have on file with your iTunes account or to add a new card. After selecting to add a new card, you will be prompted to take a photo of your card. As seen in the image above, simply position your card inside the frame displayed on the screen. The app should automatically capture the information from the front of the card. If it is unable to capture the information, the app will prompt you to enter the information manually. Either way, you will still be required to manually enter the security code found on the back of the card.

Finally, you will need to accept the terms of use for using the card through Apple Pay. While most cards will automatically be verified soon after being entered into the app, some cards may require an additional verification step, such as a phone call or email. Simply follow the instructions given after entering each card. Apple says the first card you enter will automatically become your default payment card. However, you can easily change your default card in Settings.

Source: Apple

Find an Apple Pay-compatible retail store or app

As previously noted, you can make Apple Pay purchases in participating retail stores or through compatible apps. According to Apple more than 220,000 locations are ready to accept the new contactless payment method, including the Apple Store, Bloomingdale’s, Champs Sports, Foot Locker, McDonald’s, and more. Other companies are also accepting Apple Pay through their apps, like the Disney Store, Groupon, Panera Bread, Staples, and Target. Check Apple’s website to see a complete list of Apple Pay-compatible stores and apps.

Source: Apple

Make a purchase

When it comes time to pay at a physical retail store, you will simply hold your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus near the store’s NFC reader with your finger on the Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The payment process will take a few seconds and will be confirmed with an onscreen message, as well as a subtle vibration and beep.

Apple Pay-compatible apps will offer you payment options at the end of your transaction. Simply select Apple Pay and follow the instructions, as they may vary slightly from app to app. However, just like for in-store purchases, you will be required to place your finger on the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in order to authorize the purchase. Happy shopping!

Follow Nathanael on Twitter @ArnoldEtan_WSCS

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