Apple Pay Not Working? How to Fix It

Troubleshooting this popular payment method

Rather than having to fumble for cash, a check, or a credit card, you can use Apple Pay and other mobile payment services to make purchases with speed and convenience. However, you may find you're unable to complete your transaction when you go to use Apple Pay at the gas station or at another retail establishment.

The Causes of Apple Pay Not Working Properly

The most common reason for this happening is your phone being low on battery or the store not having the capability to accept Apple Pay.

Pay With Your iPhone
Getty Images/Tom Werner

Then again, there are times when you just can’t get Apple Pay to work, which can be very inconvenient to deal with if you don’t normally carry cash. There could be issues with the Apple Pay servers not working, a faulty digital payment terminal, or problems with a particular debit or credit card.

How to Fix Apple Pay Issues

If you're having trouble getting Apple Pay to work, there are a few things that you can do to help resolve the issue. Most of them are fast, easy solutions to fix the problem and get Apple Pay working again.

  1. Apple Pay could be down due to technical issues. Sometimes, the problem has nothing to do with your iPad or iPhone and could instead be back end issues with Apple Pay’s web service. If this is the case, you may just need to wait a short amount of time for the service to start working again.

    Thankfully, there is an easy way to find out whether Apple Pay is experiencing any issues. All you have to do is go to the Apple System Status website and check if there is a green circle next to Apple Pay. Once you have ruled out a service failure, you can move on to other solutions.

  2. Check to see if the business accepts Apple Pay. If they do, it may be that a particular terminal is not working when you try to use Apple Pay. Should you encounter this problem, you should ask if there is another terminal you can use. Once you know which terminal will let you use Apple Pay, you can keep it in mind for future transactions.

  3. Manually select a credit or debit card. Even if you're at a working terminal, you may encounter issues with the device detecting Apple Pay on your iPhone. If you hold up your iPhone and Apple Pay isn’t working, try to select a credit card manually in Apple Wallet to make a payment. Go to Settings > Wallet and Apple Pay, tap the credit or debit card you want to pay with, then hold your phone next to the terminal reader. If successful, you will be prompted to enter your passcode or use Touch ID or Face ID to pay, depending on your settings.

  4. Remove and re-add credit or debit card. There may be a credit or debit card that gives you repeated issues when you try to use it on Apple Pay. This can happen when you get a new credit card from your provider, as any changed information may not be immediately updated on Apple Pay. If this is the case, you should try removing it from Apple Pay and re-adding to fix the issue.

  5. If none of the strategies above resolve your Apple Pay issues, you should try performing a hard reset on your iPhone or iPad. While that may seem like an obvious solution, resetting your device can reset connections and data to get Apple Pay working again.