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How to use Apple Pay Cash to send and receive money

One of the handier tools in iOS 11 is Apple Pay Cash. The Venmo-like feature allows you to easily send and receive money directly in the Messages app.

While Apple Pay Cash is a lot like Venmo, Google Wallet, and other peer-to-peer payment services, it does have a few unique benefits. It’s directly embedded in your messaging client, so it’s dead simple to use because you don’t need to install any third-party apps. It’s also incredibly fast. Like many of its competitors, Apple Pay Cash gives nearly instant access to any payments received through the app. The payments are added to the balance on your Apple Pay Cash account and can be used to make payments to friends or anywhere Apple Pay is accepted.

Here’s how to set up and use Apple Pay Cash on your favorite iPhone or iPad.


If you’re currently using Apple Pay, you’ll most likely be able to use Apple Pay Cash with no problem. There’s just a few requirements to get started:

  • You must be at least 18 years old and living in the U.S.
  • You’ll need to have an eligible debit or credit card in your Wallet app. If you need help adding a card, our Apple Pay tutorial can guide you along.
  • Make sure you’re using the same Apple ID for both iMessage and iCloud and that two-factor authentication is set up.
  • You’ll need to verify your identity.
  • Finally, you’ll need to have a compatible device. We’ve listed the devices that currently work with Apple Pay Cash below.
iPhone  iPad  Apple Watch
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8 (Plus)
  • iPhone 7 (Plus)
  • iPhone 6 (Plus)
  • iPhone SE
  • iPad Pro
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Mini (3 & 4)
  • Any Apple Watch

How to set up Apple Pay Cash

Setting up Apple Pay Cash is pretty simple. Go to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay > Apple Pay Cash. Review the terms and conditions and tap Agree. 

Once you’ve set up Apple Pay Cash, you’ll want to verify your identity immediately to avoid any hiccups. While it may seem odd that Apple is requesting such personal information, the company is legally required to do so to comply with Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation rules.

To verify your identity, go to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay > Apple Pay Cash > Verify Identity. Tap Continue. Enter your first and last name and tap Next. Enter your address information and tap Next. Finally, you’ll need to enter the last four digits of your Social Security number and date of birth, then tap Next. Once that’s done, you’ll see a quick confirmation on your screen before the Verify Identity option disappears from the menu.

Once you’ve finished setting up, you should see an Apple Pay Cash icon in your Message app drawer. You can now send and request payments from other users who have the feature set up on their phone.

How to send and receive payments

Using Apple Pay Cash with your iPhone and iPad

Image used with permission by copyright holder
  1. Open the Messages app.
  2. Select your recipient. You can either tap on the message thread if you’ve recently messaged the person, or you can tap the New Message icon on the top right corner.
  3. Tap the App Store icon next to the text field.
  4. Tap the Apple Pay Cash icon in the app drawer.
  5. In the app window, enter the appropriate dollar amount using the + and – icons, or by swiping up to reveal the keypad.
  6. Tap Request or Send. If you’re sending money, you will need to authenticate with Touch ID, Face ID, or your passcode.
  7. Before the transaction is initiated, you’ll see the request appear in the message window. If you want to attach a message to the transaction, enter it before tapping the black Send icon.

You can also use Siri to make payments though Apple Pay Cash.  To make a payment, say something similar to “Send $15 to Oscar for groceries.”

To reply to a payment request, you simply need to tap the Apple Pay request bubble in the message. If you receive a message with the dollar amount underlined, you can also tap on it to complete the transaction.

Using Apple Pay Cash with your Apple Watch

Image used with permission by copyright holder
  1. Open the Messages app and select your recipient. For a new conversation, tap firmly on the screen and select New Message. 
  2. Tap the Apple Pay icon.
  3. Use the Digital Crown to select the amount.
  4. Tap the Pay icon.
  5. Double-click the side button to send the payment.

You can also use Siri to make and request payments on your Apple Watch. Just say something to the effect of “Send $30 to Nancy for drinks.”

To reply to a payment request, tap the Apple Pay request bubble in the message. Like on the iPhone, if you get a message with the dollar amount underlined, tap on it to finish the transaction.

Canceling or disputing a payment

Canceling a payment is simple, as long as the recipient hasn’t accepted it. To cancel a payment, open Messages and tap on the payment.  Check the status to make sure the payment has not been accepted, then tap Cancel Payment.

Disputing a payment is a little more work. You’ll need to contact Apple directly. The dispute process is similar to a regular credit or debit card dispute, so funds may not be restored to your account immediately.

Transferring money to your bank account

Image used with permission by copyright holder

While you can use Apple Pay Cash to make payments online and in any store that accepts Apple Pay, you may eventually want to transfer funds to your bank. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the Wallet app and tap the Apple Pay Cash card.
  2. Tap the info icon.
  3. Tap the Add Bank Account icon.
  4. Enter the account and routing number of your U.S. bank.
  5. Enter the amount you’d like to transfer.
  6. Press Transfer in the upper right corner.
  7. Authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode.

Unlike Apple Pay Cash transactions, transfers to your bank are not immediate. It typically takes one to three business days for the transfer to appear in your bank account.


When making payments, Apple defaults to your Apple Pay Cash balance first. If there’s not enough funds to cover the payment, the balance will be charged to your debit or credit card. If you have both a debit and credit card on file, Apple always defaults to the debit card. Any payments that use a credit card to fund the transaction incur a 3 percent fee.

Once you’ve accepted your first payment, any payments you receive are automatically stored in your Apple Pay Cash account. If you don’t want to automatically receive payments, go to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay > Apple Pay Cash. Tap the Info and press Manually Accept Payments. 

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Steven Winkelman
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Steven writes about technology, social practice, and books. At Digital Trends, he focuses primarily on mobile and wearables…
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