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How to Fix Apple Pay Not Working (A Step-By-Step Guide)

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Writer, Apple

Over the last decade, Farhad has gained hands-on experience with smartphones, laptops, accessories, wearables, printers, etc. If he's not writing, you can bet he's trying to keep up with the latest technology. He oversees coverage of iPhone, iOS, and Apple Watch for Gotechtor.

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It is frustrating when Apple Pay is not working on your iPhone as you cannot simply tap your phone to pay at the register.

Instead, you have to go through the trouble of taking your credit card out and swiping it while holding your stuff. Not convenient, right?

Apple Pay is Apple’s contactless payment. It provides a faster and safer way to pay compared to swiping your card or using cash. To learn more about Apple Pay, check this guide on how to set up and use Apple Pay.

This article will step you through possible fixes for when Apple Pay is not working on your iPhone.

Why Is Apple Pay Not Working?

There are a variety of causes for Apple Pay not working on your iPhone. However, the following are the most prevalent ones that prevent you from using Apple Pay:

  • A thick phone case
  • Unavailable Apple Pay system
  • Malfunctioning terminal
  • A glitch in your phone
  • A bug in the Wallet app
  • Low battery charge

1. Restart Your Phone

The first method we suggest for fixing Apple Pay not working is restarting your iPhone or simply shutting it off, waiting a few seconds, and then turning it back on. This method can be used to fix a variety of issues, including Apple Pay not working.

2. Charge Your iPhone

The Battery Save feature is usually activated automatically when the battery level falls below 20%. To save battery life on your iPhone, Battery Save disables a lot of features.

Disabling features, on the other hand, may prevent services like Apple Pay from working. As a result, we recommend charging your phone and checking it the next time to see if it works properly. If not, proceed to the next step.

3. Reopen the Apple Wallet App

It is not uncommon for apps to freeze or crash. So, if your Apple Pay is not working, simply closing and opening the Apple Wallet may help solve the problem.

If Apple Pay is still not working after restarting the app, move on to the next step. We’ve got more fixes for you.

4. Remove the Phone’s Case

In order for Apple Pay to work, NFC technology must be transmitted through the phone. You may not be able to use Apple Pay on your phone if you have a big bulky case that prevents the NFC from working.

iPhone 12 Pro with the case removed
iPhone 12 Pro with the case removed. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Interested in the behind-the-scenes of Apple Pay, we’ve got a detailed guide on how Apple Pay works under the wood. Check it out.

So, if your Apple Pay doesn’t function, remove the phone case from your phone and try it at the register to see if it works.

Note that Apple Pay will almost certainly not work if your phone’s cover is magnetic. So, before you dive into any complex troubleshooting, remove your phone from the case and test it. If this is not the case, proceed to the next step. 

5. Choose a Credit Card

Sometimes Apple Pay may not work if you choose to pay with a debit card. Check to see if your debit card is the cause of Apple Pay malfunction by switching to a credit card for one transaction. This may seem odd, but it may help you to use your Apple Pay again.

See also: Your Payment Method Was Declined. Please Enter Another Payment Method

6. Check Apple Pay Status

Naturally, when Apple Pay is not working, the first thing that pops into your head is that there must be something wrong with your iPhone or iPad, but that is not necessarily the case.

Apple services system status
Apple Services System Status. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

The problem might be that the web service that Apple Pay uses is down. In this case, you just need to wait until the service is up and running again.

To find out if there are any problems with the Apple Pay service, you can check the Apple System Status website

7. Sign Out of Your Apple ID Account and Then Sign Back In

The next reason why your Apple Pay may not be working on your iPhone is just some sort of a glitch in the Apple Pay system or your phone.

Again, you can try signing out of your Apple ID account and then signing back in. 

Sometimes that will restart the Apple Pay system and then fix any kind of glitch or error that may be happening.

To do so, follow the steps below:

1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

iPhone Settings App
Launch iPhone Settings. Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

2. In the Settings menu, tap your name at the top.

Tap on your name in Settings app-1
Tap on your name in the Settings app. Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

3. Select Media & Purchases from the Apple ID menu.

Select Media & Purchases. Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

4. From the pop-up menu, select Sign Out.

Sign out of Apple ID
Signing out of Apple ID. Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

You may now be asked to enter your password to turn off the Find My Phone feature, as well as a question regarding keeping a copy of important information like contacts in your phone. 

It’s time to sign back in after confirming the sign-out. Now, check to see whether the problem still exists. If yes, move on to the next solution.

8. Try a Different Terminal or Store

You may not have a malfunctioning phone but rather a terminal problem. For example, sometimes, when you use your Apple Pay, for whatever reason, there could be a glitch on that particular terminal that you’re using. 

Moreover, if you are shopping at Walmart, Lowes, or Home Depot, Apple Pay will never work, since they do not accept Apple Pay. Alternatively, you can try a different store that accepts Apple Pay.

9. Select a Card in Your Apple Wallet

The next method for resolving this problem is to choose a card manually. We suggest this method because Apple Pay may pull information from an old card you have connected to your Apple Pay.

Follow these steps to select a card to use with Apple Pay manually: 

1. Open your Wallet.

Open Wallet App. Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

2. After that, tap on the card you want to use. 

3. Once you have your card up, place your phone close to the NFC terminal and see if that goes through. 

10. Readd Your Card

If Apple Pay does not function, re-adding a card is one of the most effective fixes. Follow the steps below to do so:

1. Go to your Wallet app.

Apple Wallet iPhone settings
Open Wallet App. Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

2. Pull up the card that you want to use.

3. Then, tap on the three dots on the top right.

4. Following that, look for the red button called Remove This Card and remove the credit card or debit card that you are trying to use.

5. Next, go back to your Apple Wallet.

6. Tap the black plus button on the top right corner.

7. Follow the prompts to add your card back into your Apple Pay.

11. Check for Any Pending Software Update on iPhone

If you are having problems with Apple Pay, you can check if your iPhone has any software updates pending or not.

1. Go to Settings 

iPhone Settings App
Open iPhone Settings. Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

2. After that, tap on General.

General Menu in Settings
Tap on General. Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

3. Select Software Update.

Software update in General menu
Select Software Update. Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

Here If there are any pending updates, download and install them.

12. Choose Your Phone Number and Email Address in Apple Pay

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Touch Wallet and Apple Pay. This will display you all the cards and bank accounts you’ve connected to your Apple ID.

3. Under Transactions, tap on Email.

3. Then, select the email address you want to use with your Apple Pay. If you intend to add a new email address, they must tap on the Enter New Email Address option.  Alternatively, if you want to upload one from a contact, you should tap on Add from Existing Contact. 

4. In the top right corner of the screen, tap on Done.

The steps above need to be repeated for your Phone Number as well. We advise that you restart your device after the process.

13. Reset iPhone Settings

If you still cannot get your Apple Pay to work, try resetting all your settings. Mismatched settings from iOS 14 may be causing conflicts on your device.

To solve the problem:

1. Go to the Settings app.

iPhone Settings App
Open iPhone Settings. Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

2. Scroll down to General and tap on it.

General Menu in Settings
Select General. Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

3. Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.

Transfer or Reset iPhone in General menu
Transfer or Reset iPhone. Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

4. Tap Reset.

Reset in Transfer or Reset iPhone
Reset iPhone. Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

5. After that, select Reset All Settings.

Reset All settings
Select Reset All Settings. Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

6. In order for the settings to reset, you need to confirm the action by entering your passcode.

If your device does not automatically restart after this process, we recommend hard restarting it. Now check if the issue is resolved. If not, move on to the next.

14. Reset Your Phone to Factory Settings

You can also try resetting your phone, but this should only be done as a last resort because it would wipe out all of your personal data and settings.

So, make a backup of your data before proceeding with the steps below.

1. To reset your iPhone touch the Settings app.

iPhone Settings App
Go to Settings. Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

2. Tap General.

General Menu in Settings
Tap on General. Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

3. Tap Erase All Content and Settings.

Erase All content and settings
Erase All Content and Settings. Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

4. You need to confirm your decision by entering your Apple ID passcode.

Once your iPhone resets, you need to set up your Apple ID and Apple Pay again.

Final Thoughts on Apple Pay Not Working

In general, if your Apple Pay isn’t working, one of these solutions should solve the problem.

However, it’s worth mentioning that the problem is usually caused by your phone case or a hiccup in the Apple Pay app. Removing the case and restarting the phone will resolve these difficulties.

If none of the aforementioned methods have worked for you, you’ll need to contact Apple customer service or visit an Apple store.

If you have any feedback or questions, then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

Writer, Apple

Over the last decade, Farhad has gained hands-on experience with smartphones, laptops, accessories, wearables, printers, etc. If he's not writing, you can bet he's trying to keep up with the latest technology. He oversees coverage of iPhone, iOS, and Apple Watch for Gotechtor.

Farhad Pashaei

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