How to Use Apple Pay on iPhone 12

You don't need a wallet; your phone has the power to pay on the go

What to Know

  • Double-press the button on the right side of the phone, authorize with your Face ID, and then hold your phone near the payment terminal.
  • Inside Apple Wallet, tap + to add a new payment card; cards tied to your Apple account may already be listed.

The article includes instructions on how to set up Apple Pay on an iPhone 12 and how to use it to make payments at NFC terminals.

Person doing a contactless payment with smartphone application on a bakery.
Artur Debat / Getty Images

How to Set Up Apple Pay on iPhone 12

Apple Pay is a handy feature of recent iPhones, and of course it's available on iPhone 12. If you've never used it before, here's a quick guide to getting it set up.

  1. To find Apple Pay, tap Utilities > Wallet.

  2. An explanation of how Apple Pay works appears on the screen. Read it and then tap Continue.

  3. Tap Credit or Debit Card to select an existing card or add a new card.

  4. If there are cards tied to your Apple account, they will appear on the next screen. If one of those is the card you want to use, select it.

  5. To add a new card, tap Add a Different Card.

    If you have no cards attached to your account, you may only have the option to add a new card.

  6. You'll be prompted to scan a card. Do that, and then tap Continue.

    If the card won't scan, you can also enter the card information manually.

  7. You'll be promoted to add the security code for the card. Do that and tap Continue.

  8. Once the card has been added, you'll receive a confirmation screen. Tap Continue.

    You may be prompted to read and agree to the Terms and Conditions. If so, read through the provided information and tap Agree. If you tap Disagree you won't be able to add your payment card.

  9. Another explanation screen appears that outlines how to use Apple Pay. Read it and tap Continue to return to your Wallet.

How to Use Apple Pay in Stores

Once you've added at least one card to your Apple Wallet, you can then use Apple Pay in participating stores to make contactless payments. This only works in stores that accept Apple Pay. You'll know they do when you see one of the Apple Pay symbols.

The Apple Pay Symbols

When you see one of those symbols then follow these instructions:

  1. Double-press the side button on the right side of the iPhone 12.

  2. Apple pay opens to your default card. Hold your phone up and authenticate the transaction with using Face ID.

    You can also use a different card if you have more than one in your wallet. Once your default card appears, tap it and then choose the card you want to use.

  3. Then hold the phone near the payment terminal until you see Done and a blue checkmark displayed on your screen.

How to Change Your Default Card in Apple Pay on iPhone 12

If you only have one card in Apple Pay, it becomes your default payment card. When you add other cards or change cards, you might want to set a different card as the default.

The easiest way to do it is to open the Wallet, and then tap and hold the card you want to make your default. Then, drag that card to the front of all the cards you have listed. This will make it the default.

If you're having trouble with this method, here's an alternative way to make a different card the default:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Scroll down and tap Wallet & Apple Pay.

  3. Tap Default Card.

  4. Select the new card you want to use as a default.

    The next time that you double-press the side button to initiate Apple Pay, the card you selected as the new default will be the card that appears.