What are the pros and cons of Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is a mobile payment service that allows users to make purchases in stores, apps, and on the web using Apple devices like the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac. With Apple Pay, you can check out quickly and securely using Touch ID, Face ID, or your device passcode.

What are the pros and cons of Apple Pay?

Pros of Using Apple Pay

Apple Pay offers several benefits that make it an appealing choice for iOS users:

Convenient Checkout

  • Apple Pay allows for quick, seamless checkout in stores by holding your iPhone near the contactless reader
  • There’s no need to carry physical cards or cash
  • Checkout is secure with biometric authentication like Touch ID or Face ID

Wide Acceptance

  • Apple Pay is accepted in many major retail stores, pharmacies, grocery stores etc.
  • It also works with various apps and websites like Uber, Airbnb, Grubhub etc.
  • Acceptance continues to grow rapidly across the world

Secure Transactions

  • Apple Pay uses device-only card numbers and unique transaction codes
  • Your actual card numbers are never shared with merchants
  • If your iPhone is lost/stolen, you can suspend or remove cards immediately

Rewards and Benefits

  • Using a credit card via Apple Pay allows you to earn applicable rewards
  • Some banks offer extra cashback or benefits for Apple Pay purchases
  • Loyalty cards can be added to Apple Wallet to access deals and coupons

Receipts and Transaction History

  • Digital receipts are easily accessible in the Wallet app
  • You can view Apple Pay payment history and manage cards with ease

Cons of Using Apple Pay

However, there are also some downsides to keep in mind when using Apple Pay:

Device Compatibility

  • Apple Pay only works on Apple devices – iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, Mac
  • Android device users cannot set up Apple Pay

Merchant Acceptance

  • While growing, Apple Pay acceptance has gaps compared to traditional cards
  • Users may occasionally encounter stores that don’t accept contactless payments

Card Limits

  • Banks can impose lower transaction limits on Apple Pay vs physical cards
  • Contactless transaction limits also apply based on store policies

Technology Errors

  • Rarely, technical errors may prevent Apple Pay from working properly
  • Issues include: connectivity problems, software bugs, device failures etc.

Security Vulnerabilities

  • Like any technology, Apple Pay systems could have undiscovered flaws
  • Hackers or rogue employees could potentially exploit vulnerabilities

In summary, the convenience, speed, rewards, security features and growing acceptance make Apple Pay highly useful for iOS users. But occasional compatibility issues, technology errors or security risks may frustrate some customers.

Apple Pay Usage in Stores

Using Apple Pay in retail stores for purchases is very quick and convenient:

  1. Wake your iPhone and authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID or passcode
  2. Hold the top of your iPhone near the contactless reader with your finger on Touch ID
  3. A subtle vibration and beep confirm the payment
  4. The receipt will appear on your screen – you’re all done!

For payments over the contactless limit, additionally enter your device passcode before tapping your iPhone on the reader again.

On Apple Watch, double click the side button then hold the display up to the contactless reader. Authorize with passcode if prompted.

Apple Pay works instantly with leading payment networks like Visa, Mastercard, AMEX and major card issuers to enable the contactless functionality.

Using Apple Pay in Apps and Websites

Apple Pay can also be used conveniently within apps and websites:

  1. When checking out, look for the Apple Pay payment button
  2. Authenticate using Touch ID/Face ID to authorize payment
  3. Digitally signed receipt will appear confirming transaction

Apple Pay transactions are secure across apps and websites using encrypted tokenization and biometrics for authorization.

Leading apps like Uber, Airbnb, Grubhub enable Apple Pay payments using Stripe integration. Ecommerce platforms like Shopify also support Apple Pay.

Popular Stores and Apps Supporting Apple Pay

Apple Pay is accepted at a vast range of major stores, apps and services. Here are some popular examples:


  • Walgreens
  • CVS Pharmacy
  • Best Buy
  • Kohl’s
  • Lowe’s
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • ALDI


  • Instacart
  • Uber
  • Postmates
  • Subway
  • Panera Bread
  • DoorDash


  • Airbnb
  • Ticketmaster
  • Fandango
  • Starbucks
  • Jersey Mike’s
  • Southwest

Public Transport

  • New York MTA
  • Transport for London
  • Japan Rail
  • Beijing Subway
  • Sydney Trains

See the full list of Apple Pay merchants across the world on Apple’s support site.

Setting Up Apple Pay

Setting up Apple Pay is quick and simple:

  1. Open the Wallet app on your iPhone
  2. Tap the “+” icon in the top-right
  3. Choose the bank card you want to add
  4. Use camera to scan card details or enter manually
  5. Read and agree to the terms and conditions
  6. Verify using two-factor authentication from your bank
  7. Set up Face ID, Touch ID or device passcode for purchases

You can add multiple bank cards including debit, credit, prepaid and reward cards to Apple Pay.

On Apple Watch, add cards using the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Supported payment cards will automatically appear on Apple Pay across all your eligible devices.

Managing Apple Pay

You can easily view, update or remove cards in the Wallet app:

  • Review activity: Transaction history gives details of recent purchases made with Apple Pay
  • Suspend or remove card: Temporarily suspend or permanently remove a card anytime
  • Set up Family: Share Apple Pay cards securely with family members
  • View information: Card number, expiration date and security code details can be viewed
  • Update card details: Replace existing card details following reissuance or expiry

If your iPhone is lost or stolen, use Find My app to suspend or remove ability to pay with that device. Report missing devices to your bank as well.

Apple Pay Security Measures

Apple Pay uses advanced security technologies and encryption to protect every transaction:

  • Tokenization: Your actual card details are hidden and device-specific codes are used instead
  • Biometrics: Touch ID, Face ID or device passcodes authenticate your identity for each payment
  • Data separation: Payment data is securely isolated from other phone content and apps
  • End-to-end encryption: Communications between handset and payment terminal are encrypted
  • One-time codes: Unique, random security codes are generated locally for every transaction

Sensitive data like card details are kept safe using hardware and software encryption on a dedicated Apple Pay chip. This secure element provides tamper-resistant storage only accessible by the payments subsystem.

Apple Pay is compliant with payment industry security standards like PCI DSS. Strict policies prevent access to usage data for other purposes like advertising or analysis.

Choosing a Bank Card for Apple Pay

The most suitable bank card depends on your usage priorities:

  • Top rewards: Use premium travel or cashback cards to maximize Apple Pay benefits
  • Zero liability: Opt for cards with $0 fraud liability for peace of mind
  • Virtual card: Banks like Capital One offer virtual card numbers to use via Apple Pay for online security
  • Low APR: Choose a card with competitive interest rates if carrying a balance
  • No fees: Avoid cards like those from American Express that impose annual fees
  • Easy management: Consider a single bank for your checking account and credit card to simplify finances

Check your card’s mobile wallet fees and limits before adding it to Apple Pay. Confirm any impact on purchase protections or available discounts too.

Key Takeaways

  • Apple Pay enables quick, convenient checkout using iPhones, Apple Watch and other Apple devices
  • It offers secure purchases through stores, apps and websites with end-to-end encryption
  • Rewards can be earned on cards added to Apple Pay just as when making physical card payments
  • Acceptance gaps, bank limits or technical issues may occasionally impact user experience
  • With advanced tokenization, biometrics and other measures, Apple Pay helps prevent fraud and theft


Apple Pay makes the entire payment process fast, hassle-free and much more secure. Users get the dual benefit of rewarding credit card features along with next-generation convenience. As mobile wallet usage grows exponentially, Apple Pay stands out as an innovator that both consumers and merchants can rely on.


  1. Is Apple Pay free to use for customers?
    Yes, Apple does not charge any fees directly to use Apple Pay. However individual banks may apply charges like foreign transaction fees.
  2. What types of cards work with Apple Pay?
    Debit cards, credit cards, prepaid cards and rewards cards from major payment networks like Visa, Mastercard and American Express can be added to Apple Pay.
  3. Can Apple Pay be used on iPhone, Apple Watch and Mac?
    Yes, Apple Pay works seamlessly across Apple devices including iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad and Mac laptops or desktops.
  4. Is Apple Pay safer than using a plastic credit or debit card?
    Yes, Apple Pay offers much stronger security protections through tokenization, biometrics like Face ID, encrypted data separation and dynamic security codes with every transaction.
  5. What should I do if my iPhone with Apple Pay cards is lost or stolen?
    Use Find My app to mark your device as lost and suspend Apple Pay immediately. Also contact your bank to disable the cards themselves right away.
  6. Can teenagers or children use Apple Pay?
    While Apple Pay itself doesn’t have age limitations, card issuers and banks may impose their own age or eligibility restrictions for the underlying funding cards.
  7. Do all retailers accept Apple Pay?
    No, Apple Pay acceptance continues to grow rapidly but is not yet universal. Most major chains accept Apple Pay but some smaller vendors still do not.
  8. What is Apple Card and how is it different from Apple Pay?
    Apple Card is a specific credit card offering launched in partnership between Apple and Goldman Sachs. It integrates deeply with Apple Pay but is different from the core mobile payments platform itself that works with numerous banks.
  9. Is Apple Pay available outside the USA?
    Yes, Apple Pay is accepted in dozens of countries globally including Canada, UK, Japan, Australia and across Europe and the Middle East. More countries are added regularly.
  10. Can I add store loyalty or membership cards to Apple Pay?
    Yes, many retailer membership cards and loyalty programs can be added directly to the Apple Wallet app so they are automatically applied when you use Apple Pay in-store or online.
  11. Is Apple Pay suitable only for Apple ecosystem users?
    Primarily meant for those who own iPhone, iPad and other Apple devices, Apple Pay is designed to provide the most seamless user experience within their product ecosystem.
  12. Are there any purchase limits when using Apple Pay?
    The standard contactless transaction limits for your area apply when making in-person Apple Pay purchases. Additionally your bank or card issuer may impose lower purchase limits specifically for Apple Pay usage.
  13. Can I receive cashback for Apple Pay returns?
    Yes, returns and refunds made against Apple Pay purchases can be credited back to your linked card via various methods depending on the retailer policies.
  14. Will my cards continue working automatically if I upgrade to a newer iPhone?
    Yes, when setting up a new iPhone you can restore your Wallet app data from iCloud backup so Apple Pay will automatically work with all previously added cards.
  15. Is Apple Pay going to fully replace physical payment cards in the future?
    Many experts predict that mobile contactless payments like Apple Pay will continue growing rapidly and account for a majority share of purchases over the next decade. But full replacement adoption will realistically take much longer.
  16. Can Apple employees see or access my Apple Pay transaction details?
    No, Apple states that it cannot access Apple Pay transaction details which are encrypted securely between your handset and the payment terminal or website. Strict access controls prevent employee data visibility.

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