How To Use Apple Pay With The Apple Watch


The iPhone 6 (as well as the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7) made it easier to make a purchase in a ton of different stores using Apple Pay, a feature that allows you to tape your phone on the register to make a payment. Apple brought that same functionality to both versions of the Apple Watch, but it works a little differently than it does on your phone. If you’d like to try your hand (or wrist, as the case may be) at using Apple Pay on your Apple Watch, here’s how to make it happen:

Set Up Apple Pay

If you’re already using Apple Pay on your iPhone 6 or above, then setting up Apple Pay is super simple. Just launch the Apple Watch app on your phone, and then select “Passbook & Apple Pay” from the available menu options. Check the box marked “Mirror my iPhone” to have your Watch mimic your iPhone’s payment settings. That means if you have your Bank of America debit card set up with Apple Pay on your phone, that same card will now work on your Apple Watch as well.

If you aren’t already using Apple Pay, then you can set it up from within the Apple Watch app. Tap “Add Credit on Debit Card” on the screen. You can use the credit or debit card you already have on file with iTunes by just inputting the security code from the back of the card when prompted. Depending on your bank, you might also have to complete an extra verification step, which might include entering a special code sent to you via text or email.

If you'd rather use a different card, you can add a new card by tapping “Add a Credit or Debit Card” on the screen and the requested information. With the next version of the Apple Watch OS, you'll also be able to add loyalty cards to your virtual wallet.

Make a Purchase

When you’re ready to use Apple Pay at a retailer, simply double tap the side button on the Watch (the same one you normally use to bring up your Friends list), and then hold your Apple Watch up to the card reader with the face of your watch facing the card reader.

If you have several cards saved within Apple Pay, you can swipe across the screen of your watch to select the particular one you’d like to use. The card displayed on the Watch face is the one that will be charged.

Once you hold it up to the register, you’ll hear a beep and feel a gentle tap on your wrist when it has successfully received your payment information. Once you feel that tap you’re free to move your wrist away. If you’re using a credit card, then that’s likely all you’ll need to do. Depending on the amount of your purchase, a retailer might ask you to sign a receipt, just as if you had used a traditional plastic card. Likewise, if you’re using a debit card, you might need to input your PIN number, just as if you had swiped your card. 

How Do I Know If Someone Accepts Apple Pay?

Quite a few businesses currently accept Apple Pay has a form of payment, with more and more being added every single day. In general, if the retailer you’re visiting has a symbol on their card reader that looks like a sideways WiFi symbol, then they can accept contactless payments from your iPhone and Apple Watch. Many also accept Android Pay, if you have friends that are Android users that want to get in on the action as well.​

Some of the major retailers that currently accept Apple Pay as a form of payment include: Aeropostale, American Eagle,  Babies R Us, Bi-Lo, Bloomingdales, Foot Locker, Fuddruckers, Jamba Juice, Lego, Macy’s, McDonald’s, Office Depot, Petco, Panera,  Sephora, Staples, Walgreens, and Whole Foods.

You can check out a full list of supported major retailers here, as well as see some of the retailers who have signed on to support the payment option in the near future.

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