How to Use Apple Pay

Over the years, technology has grown and evolved to make nearly every aspect of daily life easier, faster, and more convenient. One of the greatest technological developments is online banking, which gives people access to their money anytime, anywhere. Some apps, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, have furthered on-the-go banking, helping customers easily access and spend money in a more secure way. With every transaction, there is an additional layer of security. When you add a card to a Digital Wallet, a unique one-time-use number, or token, is used so that your payment information is never shared with merchants or stored on your device. The Token is also only good on your device. So if the Token number is taken, it cannot be added to another device.

Learning how to use these services can save you a considerable amount of time when you find yourself at the grocery store, gas station, or favorite carry-out restaurant.

Setting Up Your Cards for Apple Pay

Apple Pay was released in 2014, providing iPhone users with a single, simple way to access their cards while on the go. Over the years, Apple has made updates to the system that dramatically improved accessibility, making the process easy and straightforward for even the newest of users.

Before you can begin using Apple Pay, though, you have to secure the cards you want to access in your phone’s Wallet application. In order to enter your Blackhawk Bank debit card or credit card into your system, take the following steps:

  1. Open the Wallet application
  2. Watch the provided demo
  3. Follow the steps on the screen to add your card
  4. Tap “Next” to allow Blackhawk Bank to verify you can use your card with your device
  5. Tap “Next” again after verification completes

You can choose a default card in your settings if you have a go-to card that you’ll be using for most of your purchases. Blackhawk Bank makes it fast and easy to add your card to your wallet, so you never need to slow down. As soon as you finish these five steps, you’re ready to use Apple Pay.

Find a Store That Offers Contactless Payment Options

While Apple Pay and other contactless payment applications are becoming more common, they’re not a universally accepted means of payment. Fortunately, stores that offer contactless payments are easy to identify. Typically, you can find stickers on or near the register that identify the methods of payment accepted.

Alternately, you can use your phone’s Siri feature to ask which stores near you accept contactless payments. Simply activate the feature by holding down your home button and asking “Which stores accept Apple Pay?” or, if you need more specific input, “Show me grocery stores that accept Apple Pay.” Siri will then show you a list of options in your area, so you can shop with confidence.

You can also find a list of merchants who accept Apple Pay on Apple’s website, which is updated twice a month.

Paying with iPhone X and Later Models

The iPhone X and subsequent models were designed from the ground up to work seamlessly with Apple Pay technology, making them the easiest – and most secure – options for making contactless payments. If you’re planning to pay with your default card on an iPhone X or a later model, follow these steps:

  1. Double-click the button on the side
  2. When your default card appears on the screen, either use Face ID or your passcode to authenticate the transaction
  3. Place the phone within a few centimeters of the contactless payment reader
  4. Wait until you see “Done” and a checkmark on your screen.

If you’re using a card that’s not set as your default, the process is a little different:

  1. Double-click the side button
  2. When your default card appears, tap it
  3. Choose the card you want from the list that appears
  4. Authenticate with Face ID or your passcode
  5. Position the top of your iPhone within a few centimeters of the reader and wait for “Done” to appear

Paying With iPhone 8 and Earlier Models

There are a few minor differences when it comes to using Apple Pay on an older iPhone, but if find yourself in this category, don’t fret. You can still take full advantage of Apple Pay like everyone else. To use the feature on these phones, follow these steps:

  1. Place your finger on the Touch ID area
  2. Position the top of the iPhone within a couple of centimeters of the contactless reader
  3. Wait for “Done” and a checkmark to appear on your screen

These instructions are for using your default card, but changing to another card is the same process as on newer models. Regardless of the iPhone you’re using, Apple Pay is one of the fastest and most convenient ways to access money in your Blackhawk Bank account. Of course, paying at stores isn’t the only way to make use of this excellent feature. Something to keep in mind is that Apple Pay became available with the iPhone 6, anything before that would not be compatible with Apple Pay.

Using Apple Pay for Transit

In certain parts of the world, you can use your iPhone to pay for transit. There are two ways to do this: with Express Transit and without it. If you’re doing it without Express Transit, simply follow the same steps you would follow to pay in-store. Using Express Transit simply speeds up the process by eliminating the need to authenticate or turn on your phone. Hold it up to the payment reader, wait for “Done,” and the checkmark, and then enjoy your ride.

Use a Store Rewards Card

Since Apple Pay is so convenient for customers and businesses alike, some participating stores offer rewards for using this payment method in their stores. When you receive a rewards card, you’ll need to add it to your Wallet like any other card. You can set up your rewards card to appear and activate automatically whenever you’re in the store by selecting the icon with three dots at the top of the screen and then switching on the “Automatic Selection” setting.

From there, use Apple Pay as usual. Depending on the store you’re visiting, you may be able to spend/receive rewards and pay for your purchase in a single step. In other stores, you may need to scan your rewards card first and then apply payment when prompted by your cashier. If your Blackhawk Bank Mastercard debit card is set as your default card, it will appear right after the rewards screen to make access smooth, fast, and easy.

Learn More

Due to its popularity, Apple Pay is sure to become more widely available in the coming years. Don’t fall behind. Learn more about how using Apple Pay, along with other contactless payment options, can completely transform how you shop.

Utilizing Apple Pay is a small change, but one that can make accessing your favorite cards an absolute breeze. Regardless of how you choose to make your purchases, Blackhawk Bank is here to ensure a smooth experience.


Sara Porter
VP Digital Solutions