Does Build-A-Bear Take Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is a mobile payment system that allows users to make purchases using supported Apple devices like iPhones, Apple Watches, and iPads. It provides a secure and convenient way to pay by linking your debit or credit cards to your Apple ID. With Apple Pay, you simply hold your device near a compatible payment terminal to authorize your purchase using Touch ID, Face ID, or your device passcode.

Does Build-A-Bear Take Apple Pay?

Build-A-Bear Workshop is a beloved brand known for allowing customers to create customizable stuffed animals. Naturally, many customers wonder if you can use Apple Pay as a payment method when visiting Build-A-Bear stores or on their website. This article will explore whether Build-A-Bear accepts Apple Pay and provide useful tips for customers.

Does Build-A-Bear Accept Apple Pay In Stores?

Yes, most Build-A-Bear Workshop locations now accept Apple Pay as a contactless payment method for in-store purchases and transactions. To use it, simply add your supported debit or credit cards to the Wallet app on your iPhone or Apple Watch. Then, when checking out, hold your iPhone or Apple Watch near the contactless reader to pay. You’ll authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or by entering your passcode.

Using Apple Pay at Build-A-Bear stores provides multiple benefits:

  • Convenience: Apple Pay is incredibly quick and convenient. You don’t need to carry cards or cash.
  • Security: Apple Pay uses device-specific transaction codes so your card details are never shared directly.
  • Rewards: When using a rewards credit card via Apple Pay, you still earn points/cashback as you normally would.
  • Support: Apple Pay works on iPhone models all the way back to iPhone 6 and newer. It’s also supported on all Apple Watch models.

So for in-store Build-A-Bear purchases, Apple Pay is widely accepted and easy to use. Just look for the universal contactless payment symbol at check-out.

Does Build-A-Bear Take Apple Pay Online?

Unfortunately, Build-A-Bear’s online store at does not directly accept Apple Pay as a payment method during checkout as of early 2023. When shopping online, you’ll need to pay using a standard debit/credit card.

However, there is a partial workaround. If you add your debit/credit card to Apple Pay first, you can use it to auto-fill the payment card details when checking out. While not as fast and convenient as true Apple Pay acceptance, it does avoid manually entering your card information.

Build-A-Bear has not announced if or when they plan to add direct Apple Pay integration for online purchases. For now, it’s only fully supported for in-person transactions at their brick-and-mortar workshop locations.

Tips for Using Apple Pay at Build-A-Bear

Here are some useful tips for successfully using Apple Pay when shopping at Build-A-Bear:

  • Make sure your iPhone is updated to iOS 12.1 or later. This is when Apple Pay expanded support beyond just iPhones and Apple Watches.
  • For in-store purchases, look for the contactless payment symbol on check-out terminals before paying. This confirms that you can use Apple Pay.
  • Pay attention to the total amount before authorizing with Face/Touch ID. There’s no way to cancel Apple Pay transactions.
  • Keep your phone battery charged. You’ll need sufficient power for the transaction.
  • Save your receipts. If your Apple Pay purchase doesn’t appear on your statement, you may need to contact your bank or card issuer.
  • If you have an Apple Watch, it can also be used independently to make purchases through Apple Pay, even without your phone nearby.
  • You can store many debit/credit cards on one device and switch between them easily for Apple Pay transactions.

Apple Pay Security and Privacy

When weighing whether to use Apple Pay, one common concern is security and privacy. Apple Pay is actually more secure than physical cards in many ways:

  • It uses tokenization so vendors never see or store your actual card number. A unique Device Account Number is used instead.
  • All transactions require user authentication via Face ID, Touch ID, or passcode. This means lost or stolen devices can’t be used to make purchases.
  • Card details are stored securely in the device’s Secure Element chip. Even Apple can’t access them.
  • Every transaction uses a one-time dynamic security code that rotates regularly. This prevents fraud and interception.

So while new payment technologies may take some getting used to, Apple Pay provides multiple layers of encryption and anonymization to keep your information private. Only the most necessary data is briefly shared to complete transactions.

How Does Apple Pay Work?

To better understand Apple Pay, here is a quick overview of how it works:

  1. To get started, you’ll add supported credit or debit cards to the Wallet app on your Apple device. This can be done manually or using your iSight camera to scan card details.
  2. Next, your card details are encrypted and stored safely on your device’s Secure Element chip. This keeps the info totally private.
  3. When you go to check out at a store, you’ll hold your iPhone or Apple Watch near the contactless reader.
  4. A one-time code known as a token gets generated for the transaction along with a cryptogram for added security.
  5. The iPhone authenticates your identity via Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode. This verifies the purchase is authorized by you.
  6. The dynamic token, cryptogram, and confirmation of your authentication is transmitted between your Apple device and the payment terminal. Your actual card details are never shared.
  7. Finally, the payment goes through and a receipt is transmitted digitally and displayed on your device. The card on your Apple Pay gets charged accordingly.

So in summary, Apple Pay relies on short-range NFC technology, tokenization, authentication, and encryption to make contactless payments safe, secure, and private.

Apple Pay vs. Build-A-Bear Gift Cards

When shopping at Build-A-Bear, you may also be wondering about how Apple Pay compares to using physical or eGift cards from Build-A-Bear. Here are a few key differences:

  • Convenience: Apple Pay is significantly more convenient than fumbling for a plastic gift card, copying numbers for eGift cards, etc. It’s a simple tap to pay.
  • Devices: Gift cards can only be used for in-store purchases or by redeeming codes online. Apple Pay works across iPhones, Apple Watches, and also for in-app transactions.
  • Speed: Apple Pay is ready to use immediately. Plastic gift cards must be purchased and shipped. eGift cards require finding and copying the claim code.
  • Security: Apple Pay has much more built-in security and fraud protection compared to gift cards, especially if physical cards are ever lost or stolen.
  • Funds: Apple Pay is tied directly to your bank account or credit card funds. Gift cards have set values that can run out over time.

So while gift cards have their niche benefits, Apple Pay provides greater speed and convenience for most customers. The digital wallet integration and security features make it significantly more robust overall.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. What Apple devices work with Apple Pay?
    Apple Pay works on iPhone models 6 and newer. It’s also supported on all Apple Watch models. Additionally, newer iPads equipped with Touch ID or Face ID can use Apple Pay in apps and websites.
  2. Is my debit or credit card compatible with Apple Pay?
    Most major card issuers now support Apple Pay, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover cards. Check your issuer’s website for specifics. Debit cards should also work provided you have a chip card and PIN.
  3. How do I set up Apple Pay?
    It’s easy to set up in the Wallet app. Open Wallet, tap the “+” icon, and follow the steps to add a payment card by entering details manually or using your camera. You’ll then verify your identity.
  4. Is Apple Pay safe to use?
    Yes, Apple Pay is very safe. It uses tokenization so stores never see your actual card details. Every transaction requires iPhone authentication via Face ID, Touch ID, or passcode as well.
  5. Do I need to open or unlock my iPhone to use Apple Pay in stores?
    If you’re using Face ID, your iPhone will need to be powered on but does not need to be unlocked or open any app. With Touch ID iPhones, you will need to activate and unlock the device by placing your finger on the Home button.
  6. Do I need to be connected to the internet to use Apple Pay?
    No, Apple Pay works offline as it transmits payment data directly between your device and the payment terminal. However, you’ll need an internet connection when first setting up cards in the Wallet app.
  7. Can lost or stolen iPhones be used to make unauthorized Apple Pay purchases?
    No. Without biometric or passcode verification of the original owner, the device cannot be used to make purchases with Apple Pay. You can also use Find My iPhone to remotely lock or erase devices.
  8. Can I receive cash back when using Apple Pay?
    Yes, if the retailer supports it. At checkout, simply ask for cash back as you normally would when using a physical debit or credit card.
  9. Are my Apple Pay transactions private?
    Yes, Apple Pay doesn’t store complete transaction details. It uses a unique randomized Device Account Number to represent your device. Even Apple can’t access your actual payment card numbers.
  10. What should I do if I’m charged twice for an Apple Pay transaction?
    Contact your bank or card issuer as soon as possible. They can trace the overpayment and potentially stop additional attempted charges. It may be tied to the same dynamic security code getting reused before it rotated.
  11. Can Apple Pay be used for returns at Build-A-Bear?
    Yes, Apple Pay can be used both for purchases and returns. When making a return, the store’s POS system can process a credit back to the original card used via Apple Pay. No receipt is needed.
  12. How many cards can I store on a single device with Apple Pay?
    You can store up to 12 cards on a device for Apple Pay. This includes a mix of credit and debit cards from multiple issuing banks. You can easily switch between them when paying.
  13. Does Apple Pay work for gift card redemptions?
    Unfortunately Apple Pay cannot be used to pay with gift cards. However, you can store and use gift cards with Apple Pay that are issued as prepaid Mastercard/Visa cards backed by a supported issuer.
  14. Can minors use Apple Pay?
    Yes, Apple Pay works regardless of age provided the device is configured properly with a valid payment card belonging to a guardian or family member and appropriate parental controls and restrictions are set.
  15. Do I need to open the Wallet app to use Apple Pay in stores?
    No. You do not need to manually open the Wallet app to use Apple Pay in stores. Simply authenticate with Face/Touch ID or passcode when the payment terminal prompts you during checkout.
  16. Is Apple Pay accepted at all Build-A-Bear locations?
    Nearly all Build-A-Bear locations accept Apple Pay, but its best to verify with your local store before visiting. Franchise locations in malls may have different acceptance policies. The corporate owned stores widely support Apple Pay.
  17. Can I add the same card to Apple Pay across multiple devices?
    Yes, you can add one card to multiple devices like iPhones or Apple Watches associated with the same Apple ID account. The card can then be used from any device.
  18. Do I need to carry my physical debit/credit card to use Apple Pay?
    No. Once cards are setup in Apple Pay, you do not need to also carry the physical plastic cards to make purchases. The details are securely stored in your Wallet app.
  19. Can I use Apple Pay at Build-A-Bear internationally?
    Apple Pay support varies by country. Check Apple’s website to see which countries currently support Apple Pay before traveling internationally with the expectation to use it at Build-A-Bear.
  20. How can I tell when Apple Pay transactions post to my account?
    Apple Pay purchases appear like regular charges on your statement. The merchant name, exact card used via Apple Pay, and the term “Apple Pay” will be listed for each applicable transaction.

Key Takeaways:

  • Build-A-Bear accepts Apple Pay in most of its retail stores for quicker, more convenient contactless transactions using iPhone and Apple Watch.
  • The Build-A-Bear online store does not yet directly integrate with Apple Pay, so you’ll need to manually enter card details when shopping online.
  • Using Apple Pay provides multiple benefits over traditional payment methods, including speed, convenience, rewards support, and enhanced security through encryption.
  • When shopping in-store, look for the contactless payment icon at checkout terminals to confirm Apple Pay is supported before tapping to pay.
  • To get started with Apple Pay, simply add your compatible debit or credit cards to the Wallet app on your iPhone or Apple Watch and authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or by entering your passcode.


Apple Pay support continues to expand, providing iPhone and Apple Watch users with a fast, simple, and secure way to make purchases. When shopping in person at Build-A-Bear Workshop locations, Apple Pay can be a great option for seamlessly checking out with just a tap or two.

While Build-A-Bear’s online store doesn’t yet take Apple Pay directly, you can still auto-fill your card details from Apple Pay for a bit more convenience. As adoption grows, direct Apple Pay integration online may eventually come in the future as well.

Overall, using Apple Pay at Build-A-Bear stores enables customers to swiftly get in, customize their new furry friend, and check out without the hassle of cards, cash, or gift cards. It’s one of many retailers now modernizing the payment experience through mobile wallet integration.


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