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A Complete Guide to Apple Wallet (+Hidden Features You Might Not Know About)

April 26, 2019

Forgot your wallet? No problem, you can pay with your phone – or watch.

Consolidate your cards, clean out your purse, and empty your pockets with Apple Wallet and Apple Pay. The Wallet app is a convenient alternative to carrying all of your cards and passes with you wherever you go.

How to use Apple Wallet

With Apple Wallet, you can complete transactions in-store by opening the app, selecting the card or pass you want to use, and holding your phone near the card reader or scanning the barcode on the screen.

Apple Wallet icon

 Apple Wallet will also be the main interface for the soon-to-be-released Apple Credit Card. Future adopters of this new service will be able to sign up in the Wallet app and have immediate access to the virtual Apple Card.

DID YOU KNOW? Apple Pay is available for 90 percent of U.S. credit cards.

How to add cards to Apple Wallet

Apple Wallet is supported by millions of businesses, from your favorite coffee chain up the street to airlines that take you across the country. It’s important to note that every app and service is different, but these are the general guidelines for adding a pass, such as a rewards card, coupon, or boarding pass to your Apple Wallet.

Within Wallet-enabled apps

  1. Launch an app that is compatible with Apple Wallet.
  2. Find the “Payment” or “Add card” tab.
  3. Select “Add to Apple Wallet” from the prompt.
  4. Check the Wallet app to see if your card was successfully added.
Screenshots of how to add a card to Apple Wallet from app

Within Apple Wallet

  1. Scroll down in the Wallet app and select “Edit Passes.”
  2. On the next screen choose to either “Scan Code” or “Find Apps for Wallet.”
  3. The “Scan Code” option opens the Camera app so you can scan a QR code.
  4. The “Find Apps for Wallet” option opens a page in the App Store that lists all of the Wallet-enabled apps.

Screenshots of how to add a card within Apple Wallet

If you want to learn how to add a credit card, debit card, or other payment option to the Wallet app, learn how to set up and use Apple Pay.

Read more: How to Use Apple Pay →Wallet app on Apple Watch

Your passes will automatically be synced with your Apple Watch when you add them to Wallet. However, if you want to use your credit card with your Apple Watch, you need to add it separately. This is for security reasons and as an added measure you will have to create a Passcode for your Apple Watch in order to use the card.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down to “Wallet & Apple Pay” and tap it.
  3. If you have cards loaded into Wallet on your iPhone, it will auto-populate as an option. Click “ADD.”
  4. Enter your card’s security code.
  5. Agree to the Terms and Conditions.

Screenshots of how to add a card to Apple Watch

How to reorder cards in Apple Wallet

Whether you want to keep your cards and passes in alphabetical order, have your event tickets in chronological order, or put the one you use the most frequently at the top, you can easily change the order of how your cards are displayed. When a new pass is added, it automatically populates at the top. Rearrange your Apple Wallet with these two steps.

  1. From the Wallet app, press and hold the card you want to move.
  2. Drag it to your preferred location and let go.
Screenshots of how to reorder cards in Apple Wallet]

How to remove cards in Apple Wallet

You might run across a scenario when you’d like to delete expired cards, past event tickets, and old boarding passes to keep your virtual cards neat and organized.

  1. Choose the card or pass you want to remove from Apple Wallet.
  2. Tap the three dots symbol that signifies “more” in the top right corner.
  3. Select “Remove Pass” and confirm on the prompt.

Screenshots of how to delete cards in Apple Wallet

Hidden Apple Wallet features

Let’s walk through a few Apple Wallet features you might not know exist.

How to quickly access Apple Wallet from the lock screen

There is an Apple Wallet shortcut! This allows you to quickly make payments or scan your passes when you’re in a rush.

iPhone 8 and older models

  1. From the lock screen, double tap the Home button.
  2. Choose the card you’d like to use.
  3. Authenticate with Passcode.

Screenshots of Apple Wallet shortcut

iPhone X and newer models

  1. From any screen including the lock screen, double tap the Side button.
  2. Choose the card you’d like to use.
  3. Authenticate with Face ID.

Note: With some card readers, if you get your phone close enough to it will automatically pull up Apple Wallet.

If you’re worried about privacy and security, you can disable this option in your iPhone’s settings. Scroll down and select “Wallet & Apple Pay” and toggle the “Double-Click Home Button” slider to turn off Apple wallet access when locked.

How to turn on push notifications for Apple Wallet

Apple Wallet will send you push notifications for many updates, such as flight changes or coupons and sales for nearby stores.

  1. In Apple Wallet, choose the card or pass you want to receive notifications for.
  2. Tap the three dots symbol that signifies “more” in the top right corner.
  3. Toggle the “Allow Notifications” slider so that it is green.

Screenshots of how to receive notifications from Apple Wallet

How to refresh cards in Apple Wallet

You can manually refresh your cards in the Wallet app to update a balance on a loyalty card or gate changes on your boarding pass.

  1. Select the card or pass you want to refresh.
  2. Tap the three dots symbol that signifies “more” in the top right corner.
  3. Pull or swipe down on the screen to force a manual refresh.
Screenshots of how to reload cards in Apple Wallet

How to share cards in Apple Wallet

The Wallet app allows you to share loyalty cards, boarding passes, event tickets, and more with your friends and family.

  1. Choose the card or pass you want to refresh.
  2. Tap the three dots symbol that signifies “more” in the top right corner.
  3. Select “Share Pass” to send it via AirDrop, iMessage, or Mail.

Screenshots of how to share cards in Apple Wallet

TIP: Learn how to use AirDrop to transfer files across all of your Apple Devices.

How to open a card’s associated app in Apple Wallet

If you want to quickly access a Wallet-enabled third-party app, you can do so directly in Apple Wallet to avoid the endless searching through your phone.

  1. Pick the card that’s associated with the app you want to open.
  2. Tap the three dots symbol that signifies “more” in the top right corner.
  3. Select “Open” next to the app’s icon.

Screenshots of how to open other apps Apple Wallet

If it pays, does it stay?

It’s hard to say whether or not there will be greater adoption of Apple Wallet and its Apple Pay functionality. There are 253 million people that use Apple Pay today and I can only guess that number will likely increase as we become more and more dependent on our phones. Stay tuned to see what happens after the upcoming launch of the Apple Card.

Interested in more about Apple products? See the best Apple Watch Apps by category, from fitness and meditation to music and games. 

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