Take 2 Minutes and Set Up Apple Pay on Your iPhone

Every so often I’ll tweet something about how amazingly fast I was able to check out at a random store with Apple Pay. We all know that EMV (chip and pin) payments are slow, but secure. We also know that old fashioned credit card payments via magnetic strip are faster, but way less secure. What if I told you that Apple Pay gets you the best of both worlds, and all it takes is 2 minutes to set it up on you phone?

Setting up Apple Pay is a breeze. All you have to do is go to the Wallet app on your phone1 and hit the “Add Card” button or “+” at the top right of the screen. You’ll take a picture of your card (or key it in), and then choose the 2 factor authorization you would like your bank to use to confirm you are who you say you are. I chose the email option from Chase, and they sent me an email within a minute that had a code I entered in the Wallet app to complete the set up. That’s it, you’re good to go.

Now that Apple Pay is set up on your phone, you never need to go into the Wallet app again. You can leave it in that “Never use” folder with all the other apps that are collecting dust on your iPhone.

All you have to do the next time you are in a store that supports Apple Pay is hold your phone up to the reader with one of your TouchID fingers resting on the iPhone’s home button. As soon as you put it up against the reader, your iPhone’s screen will light up and ask you to put your finger on the home button to authenticate. If your finger was already there, it authenticates less than a second after lighting up.

For reference, here’s where the NFC chip is on the iPhone:

And here’s where the NFC reader is on a couple of the most common card readers I’ve seen in the wild:

And if your concern is whether Apple Pay is even an option at the stores you go to, don’t worry about it too much. No, not everywhere has Apple Pay yet, but the list of retailers that do is increasing every day. Below is a list of stores I have used Apple Pay at in the past year:

  • Walgreens
  • Jewel-Osco
  • Meijer
  • Panara Bread
  • Whole Foods
  • Party City
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Apple Store
  • Best Buy
  • McDonalds
  • Crate and Barrel
  • Staples

There are certainly places I would like to use Apple Pay where it hasn’t been added yet, but my experience is better at all of the above locations because they do support it. Apple also has a more complete list of locations that support Apple Pay is you are looking for somewhere I don’t personally shop.

I’m a huge proponent of Apple Pay, and so is basically every one else I’ve convinced to try it at least once. So take a couple minutes this weekend and get Apple Pay set up on your phone. I think you’re going to fall in love with it.


  1. Dig it out of that “Never use” folder you threw it in before.