Apple Pay is a great way to buy goods in your favourite shops, restaurants, or purveyors of lovely, lovely hot coffee, without needing to ferret around for your bank card. Just pop your iPhone or Apple Watch on the contactless pay point and you’re done. Unless, of course, something is wrong. We’ve put together a quick guide that shows how to check if Apple Pay is working, for those embarrassing moments when the hearts of lattes grow cold.
See also: Complete guide to Apple Pay UK | How to set up Apple Pay on your iPhone
Check Apple’s System Status web page
Your first port of call should be the Apple System Status web page. This helpful site shows you the current status of all Apple online services. As Apple Pay needs to talk to the Apple servers, any downtime or problems with these will have a direct effect on the iPhone app.
If you do see a problem under the Apple Pay section then you’ll be able to click on it to get more information about what’s going on and when the service might be available again.
Read next: Is the App Store down? | Is FaceTime down?
Try using another pay point
If Apple is reporting everything at Apple Pay to be tickety-boo then it’s time to start looking for a more localised issue. An obvious culprit could be the pay point itself. If the store in question has multiple terminals then it might be worth politely asking the sales staff if you can try another one instead.
Have a look in the Apple Wallet app
Sometimes digital services need a little kickstart to get going. One way to do this is to try opening the Apple Wallet app and checking that the card you want to use is still there. If it is then you can try selecting it and seeing if that causes the reluctant payment to be triggered. It’s a bit of a long shot, but as it only takes a couple of seconds it’s worth a go before you start digging into deeper fixes.
Related: How to use Apple Wallet on your iPhone
Make sure your phone is up to date
It’s always a good idea to ensure that you are running the most up-to-date version of iOS on your iPhone, as this often includes fixes to any known problems. To update iOS on your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Software, then install any listed updates.
See also: iOS 10 review
Contact your bank
While it’s possible that your iPhone could be experiencing problems, your bank is also a part of the payment chain, so it’s worth checking with them if you can’t get Apple Pay working. There might be an issue with the card authorisation, or possibly the bank’s servers, so it’s worth ruling out.
Remove and restore your bank card
While you’re on the phone to your bank you could also try deleting the card from the Wallet app and re-authorising it. It’s akin to the old IT Crowd mantra of “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” but you’d be surprised how often that idea works.
For more details on how to do this, check out out How to set up Apple Pay on your iPhone feature.
You’ve done your due diligence and tried to fix the issue by ruling out the obvious faults listed above, but if things still aren’t working then the problem could be hardware related. In this case we’d recommend a trip to the Apple store or visiting the Apple Pay Online Support website and scrolling down to the Help me with Apple Pay section. Either route should provide you with the support you need to diagnose the issue and get things up and running again.