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Apple Cash and Apple Pay are digital payment services from the tech giant Apple Inc. These services are available in Apple Wallet, an app that digitally stores debit and credit cards and other essentials. Together, Apple Cash and Apple Pay allow you to send and receive money in the Messages app (Apple’s instant messaging services) and make contactless payments at merchants.
If you’re considering using Apple Cash and Apple Pay, or confused about their relationship, here’s what you should know about these services and how they work.
What is Apple Cash?
Apple Cash enables you to send and receive money through the Messages app. Any money you receive or add from your debit card is added to your Apple Cash balance. You can use your Apple Cash to fund purchases anywhere Apple Pay is accepted.
How does Apple Cash work?
Apple Cash works like a physical debit card. lets you:
- Sending and receiving money via messages. You can use Apple Cash or another debit card in the Apple Wallet app to send and receive money through the Messages app.
- Use Apple Cash to fund secure contactless purchases with Apple Pay in stores, online, and in apps. You can spend Apple Cash anywhere that displays the Apple Pay logo or the contactless payment icon. This is done through your iPhone, Apple Watch, or iPad.
- Share money with your family through their Apple Cash account.
- Get cashback rewards from your Apple credit card, if you use one.
- Transfer money from your Apple Cash balance to your bank account.
How to set up Apple Cash
You can use Apple Cash for as long as your Apple device is compatible (iOS 11.2 or later or watchOS 4.2 or later). You must set up two-factor authentication for your Apple ID, sign in to iCloud with the same Apple ID on any device you want to use to send or receive money, and add an eligible card to the Wallet app.
Here are the steps to set up Apple Cash:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Scroll down and tap Wallet & Apple Pay.
- Turn on Apple Cash.
- Under Payment Cards, tap Apple Cash.
- Click Continue, then follow the instructions on your screen.
How to transfer Apple Cash to your bank
To transfer money from Apple Cash, you can either use Bank Transfer to send money to your bank account within one to three days or Instant Transfer to send money to an eligible MasterCard or Visa debit card within 30 minutes.
If you set up an Apple Cash Family, children under 13 can transfer money from their Apple Cash account to a bank account. Meanwhile, teens aged 13 and over can transfer money to their eligible bank account or debit card through instant transfer.
You can transfer up to $10,000 per transfer and up to $20,000 within seven days from Apple Cash to your bank account. You can only transfer Apple Cash to a US bank account. Unless you use instant transfer, there are no fees to transfer money from Apple Cash to your bank account. For an instant transfer, Apple charges 1.5% (minimum fee of $0.25 and maximum of $15) of the amount.
What is Apple Pay?
Apple Pay is a contactless payment technology that lets you make secure transactions using Apple Cash and any debit or credit card you add to Apple Wallet. You can also send and receive money using payment cards stored in Apple Pay.
Apple Pay provides a secure way to make payments across iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS apps, and on websites through the Safari browser.
How does Apple Pay work?
You can use Apple Pay to make purchases at US retailers that offer Apple Pay or contactless payment codes. With Apple Pay, you can also send money through the Messages app on your Apple device. The Apple Cash Card is the default payment card, but you can switch to another card.
When you make a purchase at a retailer, Apple Pay generates a device-specific number and a unique transaction code. Apple does not keep your Card number on your device or store it on Apple servers. Card numbers are not shared with merchants.
To send and receive money using Apple Pay, you must be at least 18 years old and a resident of the United States. If you are under 18 in the United States, your family can set up Apple Cash as part of the Apple Cash family. Apple Cash Family accounts can send or receive up to $2,000 per transaction or within seven days.
How to set up Apple Pay
Apple Pay is already integrated into the iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, and iPad. You do not need to download a separate application, nor do you need to go through the registration process.
To set up Apple Pay, you can add debit, credit, and prepaid cards to the Wallet app. The first card you add to Wallet becomes your default payment card.
How secure are Apple Pay and Apple Cash?
According to Apple, security features are built into the hardware and software of its devices to help protect transactions. For added protection, you must set a passcode on your device to use Apple Pay, or you can use Face ID or Touch ID.
Also, according to Apple, it does not store, and does not have access to, the original credit, debit, or prepaid card numbers that you use with Apple Pay. When you use Apple Pay with credit, debit, or prepaid cards, Apple does not keep transaction information that can be associated with you.
Apple Cash relies on Face ID or Touch ID to verify transactions, which adds a level of security. Plus, there’s no physical card, and your account number will never be visible.
Regardless of security precautions, there is always a level of risk associated with any payment method. There are many bank scams that criminals use to gain access to financial information.
A study released in September 2021 by researchers at the University of Birmingham and the University of Surrey found that Apple Pay and Visa vulnerabilities could allow hackers to bypass the iPhone’s Apple Pay lock screen to make contactless payments.
If you’re not comfortable using Apple Cash or Apple Pay, consider alternative ways to spend, send, and receive money.
Apple Pay vs. other services
A couple of Apple Pay competitors are available. The device you use may depend on the type of devices you have.
Apple Pay vs. Google Pay vs. Samsung Pay
Two of the main competitors to Apple Pay are Google Pay and Samsung Pay. Other digital wallets include PayPal, Amazon Pay, and Walmart Pay.
Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay provide digitally secure ways to make purchases and send and receive money. Here are some of the differences:
- Apple Pay must be used on iOS devices, while Google Pay is available on Android and iOS devices. Samsung Pay is available on Samsung phones and watches.
- Samsung Pay is available in more locations than Apple Pay or Google Pay.
- Users give Samsung Pay a 4.5 star rating out of 5, Google Play a 4.1 star rating and Apple Pay a 3.2 star rating.
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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Merchants using Apple Pay display an Apple Pay or contactless payment code.
How do you cancel an Apple Pay payment?
If you want to cancel or oppose a payment you sent to someone via Apple Pay, open the Messages app first. Then open the conversation where you paid and tap Pay, which will open the Wallet app. Find the Wallet app and double tap on it. Then cancel the payment.
Can you get cash back with Apple Pay?
When you pay with Apple Pay, you can qualify for cash back or other rewards from credit cards and other payment cards that offer these perks. This includes cashback earned with an Apple Card credit card.