Apple Pay

Apple Pay (and Google Pay for Android users) is a mobile contact payment system and digital wallet service that enables users to pay for products and services. Launched in 2014, Apple pay is a contactless, secure way of making purchases in stores, apps, and on the web. You can also send and receive money from friends and families. 

Apple Pay and Vision Loss

What does this mean for users who are visually impaired? Listen to what these users have to say:

". . . Apple Wallet is totally accessible with VoiceOver. I love it. I use Apple Pay several times a week. You hold your phone screen near the barcode scanner and it just works. Apple Wallet is much more secure than your real one. If your phone gets grabbed they need your fingerprint, face ID or pass code. If your real wallet gets stolen, they get the keys to your kingdom!"

"I feel safer using Apply Pay than any other kind of card, simply because I can see very quickly afterwards how much I've been charged. With a normal card transaction, I only have the shop assistant's word for how much I'm paying."

"I started using Apple Pay on my iPhone with VoiceOver about 4 years ago. Just loved it from the outset. About 3 years ago, I got an Apple Watch and have Wallet on that too. It is so simple and quick paying for things. No fiddling with cards or notes and coins. Because it is on my wrist, I always have money with me. Only difficulty is in the occasional business that doesn't do card payment, then I have to work out cash again. Final benefit, I rarely have to go to the bank to withdraw cash, as I use so little of it."

"From what I understand, it's pretty safe because each transaction made is a token for only the specified amount. So, it's like a digital check cut for only the amount charged, and unlike a regular check, with your personal information on there. . . "

Note: For details about Security and privacy, Apple's website states "When you make a purchase, Apple Pay uses a device-specific number and unique transaction code. Your card number is never stored on your device or on Apple servers. . ." 

"I use Apple Pay for other stuff too like boarding passes (flights) and train tickets."

Editor's Note: Quotes are from a FaceBook conversation.

Apple Pay Accessibility

Apple Pay is accessible with VoiceOver on iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch, and Mac computers. You must set up Apple Pay on each device. Apply Pay is predominately used for in-person purchases using an iPhone or Apple Watch, Apple Pay is also available on your Mac, making it an easy way to make online purchases. In the Messenger app, users can send and receive money to/from family and friends.

College Students and Apple Pay

College students can add their Student ID to Apple Wallet to access places on campus (such as your dorm) and can use Apple Pay to pay for things on campus. Family members can send money to college students via Apple Pay and the Messenger app.

Safety during COVID

Currently with COVID most people have eliminated using cash - whenever possible - for purchases. Exchanging and handling cash is another way of decreasing exposure. When using a debit card or credit card is used, shoppers frequently have to type in their pin number or select the OK button to complete the transaction. Apple Pay is designed to be contactless, simply tap or hover your device over the reader. (Note: The user does have to find the reader; pre-COVID, finding the reader was typically done by touch!)

Educators and family members, have you introduced your student to using Apple Pay?

Setting Up Apple Pay on Your Phone

You first need the latest version of iOS, watchOS or macOS, an Apple ID signed in to iCloud and a card from a participating card issuer.

  • Go to the Wallet app and tap the "Add" (+ symbol) button. 
  • Follow the steps to add a new card. (Enter card number, security code, etc.)
  • Tap the Next button. Your bank or card issuer will verify your information.
  • After your bank or card issuer verifies your card, tap Next.

For details on how to add your card to other devices, go to Apple Pay's support page.

AppleVis has a great podcast, Setting Up Your iPhone for Use with Apple Pay which demonstrates setting up Apple Pay with VoiceOver commands. Note: This podcast was created in 2014 but the process is the same.

Using Apple Pay with Apple Watch

To use Apple Pay on your watch, double press the button on the side of the Watch (not the crown) and hold your wrist close to the card reader.

Send and Receive Money with Apple Pay (Messenger App)

On your iPhone or iPad

  • Open a conversation in the Messages app.
  • Tap the Apple Pay button in the bar below the conversation.
    • If the Apple Pay button is not visible, first tap the Apps button.
  • Enter the amount that you want to send.
  • Tap Pay, then tap the send button.
  • Use Touch ID, Face ID or your passcode to confirm your payment.

Screenshot of Messages app with VoiceOver focus on the Apple Pay button, located below the conversation thread.

You can send or receive money using an Apple Watch. Ask Siri to "Send $10 to John for the pizza."

Apple Support has additional information about sending/receiving money, how to accept payment, and more through the Messages app.