Do you need Apple wallet for Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is Apple’s contactless payment system that allows users to make secure purchases in stores, apps and on the web. To use Apple Pay, you need an eligible device such as an iPhone or Apple Watch. Many users wonder if they need the Apple Wallet app to use Apple Pay.

This comprehensive guide will explain what Apple Wallet is, whether you need it to use Apple Pay, how to set up Apple Pay with or without Apple Wallet and tips for using Apple Pay.

Do you need Apple wallet for Apple Pay?

What is Apple Wallet?

Apple Wallet is an app developed by Apple that allows you to store your credit, debit and prepaid cards. It also enables you to store boarding passes, event tickets, student ID cards and more.

With Apple Wallet, you can quickly access passes, tickets and cards on your iPhone or Apple Watch to make payments or present them when needed. Everything stored in the Apple Wallet is securely encrypted for protection.

Do You Need Apple Wallet for Apple Pay?

No, you do not need Apple Wallet to use Apple Pay. While Apple Wallet provides a convenient place to store your cards for Apple Pay, it is not required.

You can add credit, debit or prepaid cards directly to Apple Pay from your iPhone’s Settings or Wallet app without needing the Apple Wallet app. Once your cards are added, you can use Apple Pay on your device immediately.

Here are the key things to know:

  • Apple Wallet makes setting up Apple Pay easier by storing your cards. But it is optional, not mandatory.
  • If you don’t want to use Apple Wallet, you can set up Apple Pay directly via the Wallet app or Settings.
  • Without Apple Wallet, you just add cards as needed when making an Apple Pay payment.
  • Your cards still appear on Apple Pay even if not added to Apple Wallet.

So in summary, the Apple Wallet app only provides card storage and organization. It is not actually required to use Apple Pay itself on a day-to-day basis.

How to Set Up Apple Pay with Apple Wallet

If you want to use Apple Wallet to store your cards for Apple Pay, follow these steps:

On iPhone:

  1. Open the Wallet app.
  2. Tap the “+” icon.
  3. Select the card you want to add.
  4. Use your iPhone camera to scan your card details or enter them manually.
  5. Follow the verification steps required by your card issuer. This may include SMS, email or app verification.
  6. Once your card is verified, it will be added to Apple Wallet and available via Apple Pay.

On Apple Watch:

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to the My Watch tab.
  3. Tap Wallet & Apple Pay.
  4. Tap “Add Card” and follow the prompts to add a card from your iPhone Wallet.
  5. Once added, your card will appear on Apple Pay on your Apple Watch.

Once your cards are in Apple Wallet, you can now make payments using Apple Pay on your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad or Mac by authenticating with Face ID, Touch ID or passcode when needed.

Setting Up Apple Pay Without Apple Wallet

If you don’t want to use the Apple Wallet app, you can set up Apple Pay directly:

On iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay.
  2. Tap “Add Card” and follow the prompts to add a credit, debit or prepaid card.
  3. Verify your card with the required security steps.
  4. Your card will now be available through Apple Pay.

On Apple Watch:

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to My Watch > Wallet & Apple Pay.
  3. Tap “Add Card” and follow the steps to add a card.
  4. Your card will now show on Apple Pay on your Apple Watch.

Once you have cards set up, you can use Apple Pay by double-clicking the side button on a Face ID iPhone or Apple Watch whenever you need to pay. Authorize with Face ID or passcode and you’re done.

Tips for Using Apple Pay

Here are some useful tips for using Apple Pay smoothly:

  • Add your most used cards to Apple Wallet or directly to Apple Pay to access them easily.
  • On iPhone X and later, double click the side button then glance to authenticate with Face ID when paying.
  • On iPhone 8 or earlier, rest your finger on Touch ID when paying.
  • On Apple Watch, double click the side button to pay using your default card.
  • Hold iPhone or Apple Watch near the payment terminal rather than directly on it for best results.
  • Make sure your iPhone display is on and Apple Watch is awake when paying.
  • You can access passes, tickets and cards on Apple Wallet even when iPhone is locked.
  • Check stores have the contactless payment symbol before using Apple Pay.
  • If payment doesn’t work, check your internet connection and that you properly authenticated.
  • Payment transactions may take time to appear on your account as merchants process them.

Apple Pay Without an Apple Device

Apple Pay works seamlessly with Apple devices. But it is also possible to use Apple Pay without an Apple device in some situations:

  • On the Web: You can sign in with Apple and pay using Apple Pay on participating sites using many browsers on Windows, Android or any device.
  • Using Apple Card: The Apple Card credit card can be used via the magnetic stripe or card number for payments without needing Apple Pay.
  • With Apple Watch: You don’t need an iPhone present to use Apple Pay on Apple Watch (GPS + Cellular models only).

So in certain cases, you can use Apple Pay without needing iPhone, iPad or Mac. But an Apple device is required to set up the payment cards and system initially.

Security and Privacy

Apple Pay transactions use secure tokenization and encryption for protection. When you use Apple Pay, your card details are never shared with the merchant. Each payment uses a unique security code so your card details stay private.

You must authorize Apple Pay payments with Face ID, Touch ID or passcode. This ensures that only you can make payments from your device. All payments and receipts are viewable in your Wallet app transaction history.

Overall, security experts consider Apple Pay to be highly secure and safe to use for contactless payments. Just be sure to use a strong device passcode to protect access to your cards.


In summary:

  • Apple Wallet is useful but not required to use Apple Pay. You can add cards directly.
  • Set up Apple Pay via Wallet app or Settings on iPhone and Watch app on Apple Watch.
  • Authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID or passcode when paying for security.
  • Apple Pay works seamlessly on Apple devices but is also accessible from some non-Apple devices.
  • Transactions are highly secure thanks to encryption and one-time codes.

So while the Apple Wallet provides convenience, it is not mandatory to use Apple’s contactless payment system on a daily basis. With or without Apple Wallet, Apple Pay provides a fast, convenient and secure way to pay across Apple devices.


  1. Can I set up Apple Pay without a credit card?
    Yes, you can use a debit card or prepaid card to set up Apple Pay as well. Apple Pay works with most credit, debit and prepaid card types from major issuers.
  2. Do I need an Apple Watch to use Apple Pay?
    No, you can use Apple Pay on any compatible iPhone model. Apple Watch enables you to use Apple Pay conveniently on your wrist, but is not required.
  3. Does Apple Pay work on Android or Windows devices

    Apple Pay is designed to work natively with Apple devices. However, you can use Apple Pay for payments on compatible sites in Chrome, Edge and other browsers on non-Apple devices.

  4. Is Apple Pay free to use?
    Yes, Apple doesn’t charge any fees to use Apple Pay. However, your card issuer may charge transaction fees depending on your account. Contact your bank for details.
  5. Can I remove a card from Apple Pay?
    Yes, you can remove a credit, debit or prepaid card from Apple Pay at any time. Simply delete it from your Apple Wallet or via the Wallet & Apple Pay settings.
  6. Is Apple Pay safer than using a physical card?
    Yes, security experts agree that contactless payments via Apple Pay are much more secure than physical cards. Each transaction uses a unique code and your details are never shared.
  7. Can I use Apple Pay abroad?
    Apple Pay can be used in many countries. Contact your bank to ensure your card works overseas and if foreign transaction fees apply.
  8. Do I need an internet connection to use Apple Pay?
    An active internet connection is required to process transactions. Apple Pay won’t work in areas without cellular or WiFi connection.
  9. Can I use Apple Pay on iTunes or App Store?
    Yes, you can select Apple Pay as a payment method for purchases on iTunes, App Store and other Apple services.
  10. What devices work with Apple Pay?
    Apple Pay is available on iPhone 6 and newer models. Apple Watch Series 1 and newer support Apple Pay. Newer Macbooks and iPad Pro models also work with Apple Pay.
  11. How do I view past Apple Pay transactions?
    Your Apple Pay transaction history is stored securely in the Wallet app. Open it and tap on a card to see past Apple Pay payments.
  12. Can I use Apple Pay in apps or websites?
    Yes, you can use Apple Pay in iOS apps that support it. Also on websites that have Apple Pay as a payment option – look for the Apple Pay or contactless payment button.
  13. Is Apple Pay linked to my Apple ID?
    No, Apple Pay cards are saved directly on your device, not your Apple ID account. You can use Apple Pay on multiple devices with the same Apple ID.
  14. Can I use store loyalty or rewards cards with Apple Pay?
    Yes, many stores allow you to add loyalty cards to Apple Wallet for use at checkout via Apple Pay. Tap or scan your loyalty card when prompted.
  15. What do I do if Apple Pay is not working?
    Check for an internet connection. Verify the payment terminal accepts contactless payments. Ensure you are authenticating with Face/Touch ID when paying. Contact your bank or card issuer for help.
  16. Is there a transaction limit for Apple Pay?
    Transaction limits depend on your bank and card issuer. Contact them for Apple Pay purchase limits. Store limits also apply – many have a max of $100-200 per Apple Pay transaction.


Apple Pay provides a convenient, private and highly secure replacement for your physical wallet. While the Apple Wallet app can help organize your cards, it is not required to use Apple Pay on a daily basis.

Whether you manage your cards in Apple Wallet or directly via Settings, Apple Pay lets you pay quickly and easily with your iPhone, Apple Watch and other Apple devices. Just remember to authenticate payments with Face ID or Touch ID for optimal security.

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