How To Set Up Apple Cash & Apple Pay – A Step-by-Step Guide

By Tim Chesonis •  Updated: 12/08/19 •  10 min read

Apple Cash and Apple Pay are simple easy ways to pay everything from bills, to buying a candy bar out of a vending machine. But exactly what is necessary to set up Apple Cash and Apple Pay on your iPhone, and what’s the difference between the two?

You can set up Apple Cash and Apple Pay on your iPhone by following these 10 steps:

1) Go to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay and toggle on Apple Pay Cash.
2) If asked, enter your Apple ID login credentials.
3) When the “Setting up Apple Cash” screen appears, tap Next.
4) Add a Credit or Debit Card
5) Manually enter, (or scan with the camera), your card information.
6) Confirm the card details have been entered correctly.
7) Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
8) If asked, choose a verification method (e-mail, text, or phone call).
10) Enter the verification code, tap “Next”, and then “Done”.

Apple Cash allows you to send and receive money via the Messages app, allowing you to instantly send money to your kids at college, or split a bill at a restaurant. Apple Pay, however, allows you to purchase items from a retail store or a meal from Burger King, just like you would use a credit card.

For a more thorough explanation, complete with step-by-step instructions with screenshots showing you exactly how to set up both Apple Cash and Apple Pay on your iPhone, read on.

This guide is very easy and straight forward, and will only take a few minutes to set up on your iPhone.

What is the Difference Between Apple Cash and Apple Pay?

Apple Cash allows you to pay and get paid right in Messages, or by asking Siri. Apple Cash is built right into the operating system, so there is no app to download. Funds are deposited or withdrawn from the cards already in your Wallet app. With Apple Cash, you can instantly send money to your kids at college, or split a bill at a restaurant. It allows you to send money to friends or family just by simply saying, “Hey Siri, send $10 to Johnny“.

For example, you could use Apple Pay in stores, restaurants, for transit, in apps on your phone or on websites that support Apple Pay. It can be used to purchase a candy bar from a vending machine and a train ticket or be used to pay for an Uber. But how does Apple Pay differentiate from Apple Cash, and where would I use Apple Cash?

Think of it this way. Apple Cash will allow you to maximize your ability to send money from your personal account and receive cash to your personal account, while Apple Pay will allow you to pay for items in the same way that you would use a credit card. To offer a more thorough explanation of how to differentiate Apple Cash from Apple Pay, let me offer a real-world example in how you could use Apple Cash.

I have a friend who pays his rent using Apple Cash every month. How can he do this? After discovering that his landlord had an iPhone and had already set up Apple Cash on his iPhone, he asked if he could pay his rent via Apple Cash. The landlord was thrilled because he knew that once payment was sent via the Messages app, the payment would instantly be deposited and available in his own personal checking account.

The landlord will no longer need to go to the bank and deposit a check, only to have to wait for the check to clear before the funds became available. You would not use Apple Pay to pay your landlord, just like you would not use a credit card to pay your landlord. Clearly, Apple Cash is the right solution in this scenario.

Basically, Apple Pay is accepted almost everywhere, and the list of places where it can be used is growing daily. The great thing about Apple Pay is that it does not require Apple Pay-specific payment terminals. You can use Apple Pay anywhere you see the following logos, which is nearly everywhere, (especially the logo on the left).

Prerequisites to Use Apple Pay

Apple Pay can be used on all of the following devices, however, in this article, we are specifically looking at how to set up Apple Pay for the iPhone.

Please note that in order to use Apple Pay, you must be at least 18 years old and live in the United States. Additionally, the minimum IOS requirement is IOS 11.2 and later, or watchOS 4.2 and later. Two-factor authentication is required for your Apple ID, so you will need to make sure that you sign into the device that you want to use to send and receive money from.

Additionally, you will need an eligible debit card or credit card in the Wallet app so that you can send money, which we will get to in a minute. Finally, during the setup process, you might be required to download an app from your bank or card issuer to add a card to Wallet.

How to Set Up Apple Cash & Apple Pay

To start using Apple Pay, you will need to add your debit card or credit card (or even a prepaid credit card to the Wallet app) to your iPhone.

Step 1

Go to Settings Wallet & Apple Pay and toggle on Apple Pay Cash.

Step 2

If you are not already signed into iCloud, you will be asked to enter your iCloud login credentials.

Step 3

When you see the following screen, you will need to tap the blue Continue button to proceed.

Step 4

The “Setting up Apple Cash” screen will then appear.

Step 5

After a minute or so, you will see the following screen indicating that Apple Cash has successfully been set up for you. As indicated in the screenshot below, you will now be able to send and receive money in the Messages app and can make purchases anywhere Apply Pay is accepted (with Apple Cash). Once you see this screen, tap the Continue button.

Step 6

Now we are going to add a Debit card so that you can add money to your Apple Cash balance. Once complete, you will be able to add money to Apple Cash, and transfer money from Apple Cash to this debit card moving forward. At this point, tap the blue Add Card button below.

Step 7

You are now going to choose the type of card to add to Apple Pay. You have the option of applying for the Apple Card, or adding a credit or debit card. For our purposes, we will simply add a credit or debit card at this point, so tap on the “Credit or Debit Card” option as seen below.

Step 8

You will then be asked to position your card in the frame. For security purposes, the screenshot shown below does not have my credit card displayed above the “Add Card“, but when positioned properly, yours will show up on your device. Simply position your card in the framed window on your device and it will automatically read the card for you taking a snapshot of the card in question.

If you wish, you can manually enter the card details by tapping “Enter Card Details Manually” at the bottom of the screen.

Step 9

Once the card has been read, (or after you have manually entered the details of the card in question), it will automatically display the following screen, allowing you to edit the Card Number field, assuming the card was scanned properly. Once you have confirmed that the number is correct, tap the Next link at the top right hand side of the screen.

Step 10

You will now need to verify the expiration date field, and manually enter the security code. The security code is usually found on the back of the card in a 3-digit format, to the right of the signature. Once entered, tap the Next link at the top right hand side of the screen.

Step 11

The Terms and Conditions from your bank, (in my case, TD Bank), will be displayed. You will need to agree to the terms and conditions by tapping the Agree link at the bottom right hand side of the screen in order to proceed.

Step 12

A message will now display on your screen indicating that the card that you just entered is now your default card. This means that this card will be used to send money, and it will also be the card that money is deposited to, should you wish to transfer money from your Apple Cash account to your bank. Additionally, this card will be used for Apple Pay unless you select a different one when you make a purchase, and of course, you can change your default card after adding another card. You can now tap OK.

Step 13

After tapping OK, you can adjust the settings found right here on this screen. If you wish to add an additional card, simply tap “Add Card” here on this screen. Once two or more cards are added, you can define the default card to be used by tapping “Default Card” and choose which card will be used as the default card.

Step 14

Now that you have Apple Pay set up, you can try it out. To see how it works, go to your home screen and double-press the Power button on your phone. Once you do, you will see that the Wallet app will automatically launch Apple Pay showing the card that will be charged for the transaction.

In the real world, after double-pressing your Power button, you simply need to place your phone near the reader at the register and the funds will automatically be deducted from your debit/credit card. It’s that simple.

Some banks will only allow one type of bank card to be associated with Apple Pay, or they may not support Apple Pay at all. Unfortunately, I know this from experience, and called Apple Care at 1-800-APL-CARE to confirm this. I actually opened up a new bank account with a different bank, so that I could use Apple Pay.

Closing Thoughts

I know people who do not carry cash or credit cards. They simply use their iPhone for any and all financial transactions using Apple Cash or Apple Pay, whichever the situation allows for.

Apple has made it incredibly easy to send money, receive money, and pay for items by simply using your iPhone. Given it’s simplicity of use and implemented security measures, I highly encourage you to take advantage of Apple Pay. When first using it, you get the same thrill you did the first time you used a debit or credit card. You are left thinking, “That’s it?” Yes, it is that simple.

Tim Chesonis

Tim has been helping people with computers needs for several years, and he loves to help people succeed. He brings a wealth of wisdom and insight from an entrepreneur's perspective and enjoys freelance writing. In fact, when he's not writing an article, you might find him binge-watching Suits or formatting his computer . . . again, just for fun. To learn more about Tim, click here.