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This article was last updated Sep 09, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
It is easier than ever now to use your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad or even MacBook to make payments using Apple’s mobile payment system, Apple Pay. Thousands of banks around the world now support the mobile payment system, as do a growing number of retailers and other merchants, including some cities’ public transit systems. But will Apple Pay interface with your credit card?
In this article:
- What is Apple Pay?
- Apply Pay adoption is widespread
- Which card issuers are compatible with Apple Pay?
- Does your mobile device have access to Apple Pay?
- Bottom line
Marketed as a quicker, more convenient way to pay for goods and services, Apple Pay uses near field communication systems, or NFC, to process payments without actual physical contact between a user’s credit or debit card and a payment terminal. Instead, the smartphone app allows consumers to store their credit card information on their mobile device and complete transactions by hovering or tapping their phone over a payment terminal. Along with the additional convenience, Apple Pay provides an extra level of security by creating a unique code for each transaction and transmits encrypted data to the merchant during payment.
What is Apple Pay?
Given the growing number of security breaches and cyberattacks that have plagued American consumers in recent years, it is a relief to have an additional layer of security available when you make purchases. Banks were given until October 2015 to convert all of their credit and debit cards to chip-enabled technology. Since then, more than 3,000 banks and credit unions in the United States have also enabled Apple Pay on their payment cards — up from just 288 financial institutions in June 2015.
Apple Pay has become especially ubiquitous over the past three years. Since June 2016, for example, around 580 to 600 banks and credit unions a year have adopted Apple Pay. As a result, there are now roughly 1,782 more financial institutions supporting Apple Pay today than there were in June 2016.
Apple Pay adoption is widespread
No matter whether your credit card is issued by a major nationwide bank or smaller credit union, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to link it to Apple Pay. For example, in addition to the new Apple Card, all 10 of the country’s top credit card issuers now support Apple Pay, including Bank of America, Chase, Citi, American Express, Discover, Capital One, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Synchrony Bank and Barclaycard. A huge number of smaller banks and credit unions also support it, including USAA, PNC Bank, Huntington Bank, Regions Bank, Beneficial Bank, Citizens Bank, KeyBank, HSBC, SunTrust, Fifth Third Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union and Alliant Credit Union.
Apple Pay has also expanded heavily into international markets, too. For example, Apple Pay is currently available at select banks and credit unions in 33 countries around the world, including Canada, Brazil, the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Japan, China and Australia.
Which card issuers are compatible with Apple Pay?
Below is a list of the major credit card issuers whose products should be compatible with Apple Pay:
- American Express
- Bank of America
- Capital One
- Goldman Sachs (Apple Card)
- Wells Fargo
- U.S. Bank
While the majority of the credit and debit cards issued by the banks above are compatible, there may be some exceptions. With some issuers, for example, business cards or co-branded cards may not yet be supported on the mobile payment platform. The bank that issues your card will be the best source of information regarding which particular products are compatible. If your card is issued by a smaller banking institution, you can see a full list of supported debit and credit cards available through Apple on the Apple Pay website.
Does your mobile device have access to Apple Pay?
If you own an Apple device, such as an iPhone or Apple Watch, and own a credit card from a major issuer, then you almost certainly have access to Apple Pay. Apple currently lists more than 3,050 U.S. banks and credit unions that support Apple Pay. However, you’ll need to invest in an Apple product in order to use it. Apple Pay is only available on Apple devices, such as iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches. That doesn’t mean, though, that you can’t use mobile payments if you don’t have an iPhone. If you own an Android and want to pay with your mobile phone, then you’ll need to use Google Pay. If you own a Samsung phone, then you’ll use Samsung Pay.
As mobile payments become more popular, a growing number of banks and credit unions have begun supporting mobile payment apps, including Apple Pay. So you should have little trouble finding a credit card that supports it.
It’s also easier nowadays to use Apple Pay at a wide variety of restaurants and retailers, including at popular stores and dining establishments, such as Target, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Albertsons, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Subway, Panera Bread, McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts and more.
According to Apple, around 65% of U.S. retailers, including 74 of the country’s largest stores and restaurant chains, now allow customers to use Apple Pay rather than pay for their purchases with cash or a physical credit or debit card. Meanwhile, a number of cities around the world, including New York City, have also offered subway and bus riders to pay for their trips with their mobile phones or other contactless payment devices.
If your current bank or favorite retailer doesn’t yet support Apple Pay, don’t worry. As more people embrace contactless payments, there’s a good chance they’ll eventually support it, too.