Recently, I had the privilege of hanging out with some really smart bank marketers. When I asked the question, “who can explain what Apple Pay is and how you use it?”, not one person raised their hand.

If this is you, do not fret. Clearly, you are not alone. Even though it was on my iPhone6, I didn’t fully understand it until I took the time to study it while preparing for my conference talk.

Here’s what I learned.

1. To use Apple Pay, you need an iPhone 6 or later.

2. You add your approved debit or credit card in to the Passbook app. You can enter any number of credit or debit cards, but they must be approved for use by Apple Pay (as in the bank or issuer has signed up to participate in Apple Pay.)


Step 1: Select the Passbook app on your iPhone 6 or later.



Step 2: Within the Passbook app, select Credit and Debit Cards.



Step 3: Enter your approved Credit or Debit Card


Step 4: You are ready to go! The next time you are at an Apple Pay ready merchant, just hold your finger to the home button and tap your phone to the card reader.


3. The next time you are at a retailer who takes Apple Pay all you will have to do is hold your finger on your iPhone and tap it to the point of sale system.

Sounds so simple, right?

Then why aren’t more people using Apple Pay?

From my perspective there is still a lot of uncertainty.
• Does this retailer take Apple Pay?
• Is my card going to work?
• Did I set it up correctly?
• What will I do if it does not work?
• Will the nice person behind the counter have any idea what I am talking about if I ask if they take Apple Pay?
• Will I be holding up the line behind me as I try to get it to work?

Seems so much easier to just stick with good old plastic. I’ll admit that I set up Apple Pay on my iPhone 6 over a month ago, but still had not used it.

For me, it is like the people who use the e-ticket on their iPhone and hold up the whole boarding process when their phone falls asleep or they accidentally log out of the app! I don’t want to be that person.

I’ve begun to notice that some of the retailers I visit frequently like Panera Bread, Target and Meijer take Apple Pay. I am going to give it a whirl…when there is no one in line behind me.

UPDATE: Well, I finally tested Apple Pay at a local Panera. After trying 4-5 times to get it to completely sync, I gave up and whipped out my good old plastic debit card.

Later in the day I happened to be at Panera again with my kids and gave it another try – it worked like a charm.  Awesome.  My 12 year old was blown away by what just happened.  Later we were at Meijer and I did it again.  This time I had to enter my PIN and still follow a few prompts, but nonetheless, did not have to go in my purse or wallet, just pulled my phone from my pocket and tapped – my kids were in awe.

Want more great and practical information on Apple Pay?

Stay Tuned for Next Week’s Apple Pay Part 2: Why does Apple Pay need to be on your bank’s To Do List?

Or if you are already convinced and gearing up for your Apple Pay launch, check out our Gearing Up For Apple Pay checklist found in our FREE SAMPLES section.

In case you missed it, you can listen here to the recording of our Webinar session: What the heck is Apple Pay anyway and Why Should Banks care?