Tips for Using Apple Pay in Stores

iOS & iPadOS

So, today, I tried using Apple Pay for the first time in 2 different stores.

I had very limited success.

The issue was that I couldn't get card readers (in either store!) to read my phone when it was both near and even on top of them!

Practically every other blind person I hear about tells all of us how EASY it all is!

So, am I missing something?

Any tips/tricks?



Submitted by Anthony on Saturday, August 31, 2019

Hello I have used it before with my phone and my watch I usually wait until they tell me the total and when they’re ready for your payment then I just double click my device and if I’m using my watch I put the watch face facing the reader but if I’m using the phone I just tap the phone then after I have tap my device I put my pin number in for the card that I’m using

Submitted by Piotr Machacz on Saturday, August 31, 2019

Paying with Apple pay is a matter of pressing either the home or power button twice depending on what phone you have, then identifying with either touch or face ID. VoiceOver should then say hold near reader at which point you, well, hold your phone above the terminal, even touching it if just holding it doesn't work.

I don't know if the cashier has to press anything to enable an NFC payment or not. I always tell them that I want to make an NFC payment. If it doesn't work for you, maybe the case you have is too thick and is blocking the NFC from working or the shop doesn't accept it. It could also just be that the shop's card terminals don't support it. Over here almost 90% terminals support contactless/nfc/proximity payments, no matter whether it's Apple Pay or just putting up your physical card, but I think in the US it's not as many. Also, some companies like Walmart deliberately block Apple Pay, so just check if the shop you want to use it in supports it.

I’m not sure if the cashier needs to do something specific to enable NFC, but at least here in Australia, saying you want to use paywave, not even Apple Pay specifically, is enough for them to cast whatever enchantments they need to make the magic happen. I routinely use my Apple Watch for payments with only the occasional glitch, usually caused by a terminal taking a long time to get ready or the cashier forgetting to enable the terminal in the first place.

Submitted by Fatima.Hamoud10 on Saturday, August 31, 2019

I have also used Apple Pay in many stores since it launched in Canada. When I hold the phone near the terminal VoiceOver says "Pay with touchID." Then I just put my thumb on the home button and when I hear the beeps from the phone and terminal I know that I have payed for my items.

Submitted by Marc on Saturday, June 20, 2020

If I have two credit cards in my Apple Wallet, when I double click the home button I am presented with two options. Do I select which credit card I want to use before or after I hold the phone next to the point of sale device in the store?

Yep. You choose the card you want to pay with first, then I think you might have to hit the back button or do the scrub gesture (been a while since I've done it). Then once face/touch ID recognizes you, then you just hold your phone near the reader. The only time I've had it not work is the pepsi machine in my apartment building won't work with my Apple Cash card.

Submitted by Jo Billard on Monday, June 22, 2020

Here in Canada, there is something the store clerk has to do from their end, I found that out this weekend. I'm also relatively new with Apple Pay, so I've been having a few issues with it, but I have discovered that it won't work if your screen curtain is on. I had been told it shouldn't matter, and my first time making a purchase with Apple Pay went smoothly, but the screen curtain must have been turned off for some reason. However, a couple of weeks ago someone told me that it needs to be turned off.

Submitted by That Blind Canuck on Monday, June 22, 2020

I've been using Apple Pay here in Canada for a couple of years and have never had to disable the screen curtain in order to get it to work, on either my Apple Watch or my iPhone.

When you wish to use Apple Pay, you need to ask the cashier, or delivery guy if you're ordering food to be delivered, whether or not the machine is equipped with "Tap and Go". If the machine has that feature, then Apple Pay will work just fine. Apple Pay uses the same technology as "Tap and Go".

When using your watch, once the cashier is ready, you press the side button twice and place your watch near the reader and you should feel a tap with a satisfying "ding" noise. If you want to use a different card, before bringing your watch near the reader, use two finger swipe left or right to cycle between cards.

On the iPhone, if you are using an iPhone with Touch ID, I think you can double click the home button to bring up Apple Pay, bring your phone near the reader while having your finger on Touch ID, and like your watch, you should get a haptic tap and a "ding" sound confirming the transaction. If you want to change your card, then before bringing your phone near the reader, double tap with one finger on the card and select a card from the list, double tap to select and I think you might need to do a two finger scrub to go back, or maybe when you select the new card, it does that automatically, not sure as its been a while since I used my phone to pay. I think the process is the same with Face ID.

You do need to go into Settings, Touch ID/Face ID and Passcode, and make sure that under "Use Touch ID/Face ID for...", make sure to toggle Apple Pay on and under "Allow Access When Locked", you need to make sure to toggle Wallet on, if you plan on using Apple Pay on your phone.

I have encountered certain places where you might encounter an extra step on the machine itself, but in most places, it's pretty straight forward and quick.


Then, my question is, why is it that every time screen curtain is enabled, I get a thunk and a vibration saying that the payment didn't go through, but if I disable it and try again, it does? If it really doesn't matter if screen curtain is disabled or not, this shouldn't be happening, and if it was the reader, it never should work.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Monday, June 22, 2020

There is the possibility it could be something with your phone then. I have always had screen curtain enabled and have never had a rejected payment because of that.

Submitted by Clayton Jacobs, A.K.A. Blind… on Monday, June 22, 2020

It's important to note that not all stores accept Apple Pay. Walmart is a popular store that does not accept it. If the store accepts Apple Pay, all you have to do is put your phone close to the reader. VoiceOver will alert you to either double click the side button, if you have an iPhone that has Face ID, or if you have touch ID, use your fingerprint. There are also certain banks that don't use Apple Pay either, so make sure your card is compatible with it. Hope this helps.

Submitted by Craig on Monday, June 22, 2020

I have been using Apple pay for a few years now and find it very easy to use. I am wondering if you have a phone with a defective nfc module. I know a guy who had this exact problem with one of his iPhones. He knows that it was that phone because he has recently got a new phone and it works perfectly with apple pay.

Submitted by Blind angel 444 on Tuesday, June 23, 2020

I have never used this feature and I wanted to know if it would work on my iPad too?

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