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What is Apple Pay and Where Can I Use It?

An increasing number of customers today are looking for more flexible and contactless payment solutions, especially after the pandemic outbreak. However, digital payments like mobile wallets aren’t a new thing; they grew popular with the launch of Apple Pay in 2014.

Mobile wallets are apps that help users send and receive payments by connecting their debit cards, credit cards, and bank accounts to their mobile devices. Apple Pay is introduced as the first kind of mobile wallets, and it continues to hold a 34% share in the major mobile wallet markets, which includes Google Pay (or GPay), Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay.

Apple Pay is a priority for many customers because it is safe, convenient, and fast. Like other mobile wallets, one doesn’t need to have their credit card details at hand to make a transaction. So, if you are wondering about the possibilities of Apple Pay and where you can use it to make purchases, here’s a complete guide for you.

What is Apple Pay and How Does it Work?

Apple Pay is a mobile payment solution and digital wallet service from Apple Inc., designed to help people transfer funds via iOS app, in person, and on the web via Safari. The devices that support Apple Pay include iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.

The app uses NFC (near field communication) technology for sending an encrypted virtual account number to the POS terminal. Since NFC technology is immune to credit card skimming, it’s highly secure and protected. The process is entirely contactless when using Apple Pay at retail stores since no money is exchanged physically, and you are not required to touch the POS terminal.

Besides, when a user enters his/her credit card details into Apple Pay, the information passes through several encrypted stages, known as tokenization. Through this process, a virtual account number is stored within iPhone memory banks – the most secure area of your iPhone.

None other than your phone has the ability to decode this encrypted credit card data and then possess the transaction. Hackers can’t access and decide this data, thus making the payment safe and secure.

To add an extra layer of security, you can add facial recognition, touch ID, and passcodes for protecting your phone. Apple Pay is considered safer than many other payment methods. Even if your phone gets stolen or lost, you can use Apple’s “Find my Phone” service, which lets you erase all your phone data.

Setting up your Apple Pay account is extremely simple – all you need to do is use your app to pay at your favorite restaurants or stores. In fact, you may already find Apple Pay preinstalled on your Apple device.

To get started, you need to click on the “Wallet” icon and tap the plus sign present in the right-hand corner. This will take you to the window for adding your preferred credit cards. Now, start adding them by either keying in the card details manually or positioning the card in the provided frame.

What’s more, you can also store travel passes, concert tickets, and many more right in your Apple Wallet. You simply need to download the respective apps from the Apple Store.

Moreover, Apple doesn’t charge a fee for making payments at restaurants or retail stores through Apple Wallet. However, the merchant may charge an additional fee just as it does for other credit cardholders. But if you are using a debit card to make a transaction via Apple Pay, there won’t be any additional charges involved.

Where Can I Use Apple Pay?

You can use Apple Pay at plenty of stores, transfer money to your friends and family, and even pay online at various eCommerce stores. You can also link Apple Pay to hundreds of credit unions and banks worldwide, with over 30 countries having access to this mobile payment solution from Apple. The list of some of these nations include –

  • The United States
  • The United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Saudi Arabia
  • The United Arab Emirates
  • China
  • Russia
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Macau
  • Kazakhstan
  • Taiwan
  • Georgia
  • Belarus, etc.

Besides, all the major credit card providers in the US now support Apple Pay, allowing you to link your Apple Pay account to credit cards from providers like Chase, American Express, Citi, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Discover, Capital One, etc. Some of the smaller banks and credit unions supporting the service are –

  • PNC Bank
  • USAA
  • HSBC
  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Huntington Bank
  • Citizens Bank
  • Regions Bank
  • SunTrust
  • Beneficial Bank
  • Pentagon Federal Credit Union
  • KeyBank
  • Alliant Credit Union

You can also use Apple Pay while making in-app purchases on Apple devices like iPhone, iPad, etc. Further, you can make payments for Apple services right from the App Store, Apple Music, iTunes Store, Books, iCloud, and Apple News+.

While making in-store purchases, you can use Apple Pay wherever you see Apple Pay or NFC logo at the POS location. Thousands of stores, entertainment centers, and restaurants across the world accept Apple Pay, including online services and apps like Lyft, GrubHub, Airbnb, Fandango, Groupon, and many more.

Want to use Apple Pay to pay for your travel services? The below-mentioned metropolitan area transit solution apps accept Apple Pay –

  • Metrolink
  • MBTA
  • Caltrain
  • NJ Transit
  • MTA Metro-North and Long Island railroads
  • Ventra (Pace, CTA, and Metra)
  • RTC
  • RTD

Furthermore, you don’t need to have the transit provider app installed on your device if you are using Ventra ride services in the Chicago metro region, or if you are using the Hop Fastpass while riding C-TRAN, TriMet, and Portland Streetcar in Vancouver and Portland metro areas. In these exceptional situations, you can make payments through Apple Pay by a simple tap-and-pay using your mobile device.

As far as adding your credit cards are concerned, you can add all your cards (with a limit of up to 12 credit cards) into your Apple Wallet. Apple Pay supports almost all US credit cards, so the choices are endless. You can even load the following travel rewards cards and cash back credit cards to your Apple Wallet.

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
  • American Express Gold Card

Besides, you can receive tons of loyalty rewards from various stores, and earning extra perks will help you in your next purchases. Also, when you use a rewards credit card through Apple Pay, you will receive the rewards you are entitled to.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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