How Apple Pay will work on your Apple Watch

“Although Apple Pay has been available for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users since October, it works differently with Apple Watch, which arrives in retail on April 24,” Michael deAgonia reports for Computerworld.

“In stores, Apple Pay relies on the contact-less payment Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities built into new iPhones. As long as the phone is not turned off, it will recognize a nearby NFC-compatible terminal and instantly display your default card. To authenticate the transaction, Apple Pay uses the iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner,” deAgonia reports. “But the watch lacks the iPhone’s Touch ID sensor, which until now was necessary for the system to work.”

“To enable Apple Pay on the watch, you first create a four-digit passcode using the companion Apple Watch app (which is part of iOS 8.2),” deAgonia reports. “The passcode is used to authorize Apple Pay when you put the watch on your wrist, and it’s smart enough to know when the Watch has been taken off. (It will prompt you to enter the passcode the next time you put it back on to help prevent someone from snatching your watch and using it to make payments.)”

Read about the rest of the process in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Seamless.

Apple Pay is going to be a major reason why people wear Apple Watches.


  1. Interesting. I also assume that the watch will have a Find My Apple Watch function and the ability to lock it out if it goes missing.
    If Apple Pay was not on the Apple Watch then I probably would not be buying one on April 10.
    Still another month to go…..

    1. Wouldn’t a Find My Apple Watch function require the phone to have GPS built-in? My understanding is that it doesn’t – it uses the GPS in the iPhone.


    2. I don’t think so, with no GPS or other location feature in the watch.

      This solution amounts to a 4-digit password for Apple Pay replacing the secure TouchID.

      Eminently stealable. ApplePay is hardly out of the womb and Apple’s already eroding it. Boo.

      1. Well eminently more secure than any bank card you use presently as there are two elements to this process rather than just one. The exact security of the process relies upon the cleverness of the relationship between phone and watch and the card element is only related to the phone not the watch so unless you know the precise nature of that such a claim is meaningless.

  2. To be clear, the four-digit code will be only needed when you take on Apple Watch/make first transaction. As long as you do not take the Watch off, you will not be asked to enter the code any more — you only confirm next payments by an on screen button while the Watch is near to the NFC-equipped payment terminal.

    (However, you can change this setting to force Watch to ask for the code request every time.)

  3. I didn’t upgrade from my iPhone 5 after learning that the Watch will work with Apple Pay with it. (Mostly budget- didn’t know the Watch pricing and figured that and a new phone would strain things too much.) So, yeah, I also think Apple Pay is a strong motivator to getting a Watch.

  4. “Once Apple Pay is set up on the Watch, there’s no separate app needed to use it — and the iPhone doesn’t even have to be with you.”

    I have been saying this!

    I have read several times in the past month here that the AW requires the iPhone to be present for the watch to work. Quite frankly, that would be dumb and overly redundant!

    1. I’ll have trouble getting used to the 18-hour limitation before recharging. I mean, it’s bad enough I have to recharge my iPad every day or so. But the truth is my watch, a 1984 Seiko, is almost always on my wrist. I “recharge” it with a new battery every 2-3 years! (I guess I’m now officially old-fashioned.)

      Plug in to recharge? How archaic. What Apple needs is something like a Powermat that will charge by induction. A single mat onto which one can lay his/her iPhone, iPad or watch and absorb a charge without wires.

      1. The real issue is that people are thinking of this as a watch. It’s a computer that goes on the wrist and, among many other things, can act like a watch. Just like the iPhone is a portable computer that can make phone calls.

        As for the charging, it is inductive, and it does, in effect, come with a very small “mat” on which you place it.

        Inductive charging works well for small batteries. It’s not (yet) so good for larger ones like the phone and especially the iPad.

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