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Apple Pay Cash Review

Written by Sarah Li Cain | Published on 3/29/2019

If you have a tendency to forget your wallet, no need to worry. Apple users can use Apple Pay to make cashless transactions — in stores, on the web and in apps. You can also send and receive money from family and friends in the Messages app.

Wondering how it works? Read on to find out how Apple Pay works, what you need to know and how it compares to other cashless services.

Apple Pay at a Glance
Fees No fee if using a debit card or balance from Apple Pay Cash. If paying with a credit card, you’ll be charged 3% of the amount spent.
Speed (how long it takes to receive funds) Money is available immediately in Apple Pay Cash assuming there is no need for additional security checks. Transferring money from your Apple Pay Cash account to your bank account typically takes one to 3 days.
Compatible devices iPhone, iPad or a Mac with iOS 11.2 or later or an Apple Watch with watchOS 4.2 or later.
Fraud policy You can permanently remove or suspend Apple Pay if you suspect fraud. Since Apple Pay doesn’t store your debit or credit information, you may need to dispute transaction with your card provider. You can contact Apple support for assistance.

How Apple Pay Cash works

Sending and receiving money with Apple Pay Cash is as simple as asking Siri to send a specific amount of money to a contact or starting a conversation in Messages. The money you send will automatically be taken out of Apple Pay Cash if you have a balance. If not, you’ll need to select either your linked credit or debit card in Apple Wallet.

To use your Apple Pay Cash account, you need to set it up by using your updated device, signing into iCloud with your Apple ID and going to Wallet and Apple Pay in the settings section. Once you agree to the terms and conditions, you may be asked to verify your identity. You can’t send or receive more than $500 if you don’t.

To verify your identity, you’ll need to take a photo of your driver’s license or state-issued ID. Apple recommends placing your card on a dark background and capturing all four corners of your ID. You may also be asked additional questions such as your name, Social Security number, date of birth and home address.

Afterward, you can add funds by linking your debit card or certain prepaid cards, which requires a minimum deposit of $10. But you don’t need to add money to Apple Pay Cash. Instead, simply link a credit or debit card in Apple Wallet and send money that way.

Sending money is relatively simple. Go to Messages, open a conversation and tap the Apple Pay icon. You may be asked to verify your identity again. Either enter an exact amount or press the + or - symbol until you reach the desired amount. Then tap “Pay” and the arrow to send money. Or you can ask Siri on your iPhone or Apple Watch to send money with something along the lines of “Siri, please send $30 to Bob.” You’ll need to approve the payment using either your passcode, Face ID or Touch ID.

When you receive money, payment is automatically received and stored in Apple Pay Cash, though you can change your settings if you don’t want to automatically accept payments. You can use the cash immediately or transfer it to your bank account, which can take up to three days.

Apple Pay Cash vs. Venmo

The cost to use Venmo is the same — a 3% fee to send money with a credit card, and free if you’re using a debit card. But Venmo allows you to send money from a linked bank account, whereas Apple Pay Cash doesn’t offer that option. Both Apple Pay and Venmo send money instantly, and transferring money to a bank account can arrive as soon as the next business day.

Apple Pay Cash vs. Zelle

If users have access to Zelle through their credit union or bank, it can be faster than Apple Pay since you can receive funds in your account instantly. Otherwise, it can take up to three days to receive funds.

There are no fees to use Zelle, but you can’t link a credit card like you can with Apple Pay. You can use Zelle with your bank or their stand-alone app on any smartphone, whereas you can only use Apple Pay with Apple products.

Risks of mobile payment apps

Apple Pay Cash doesn’t store your card numbers on your device. Since you also need to approve transfers using your Touch ID, Face ID or passcode, it can be more secure than other forms of payment.

When sending money, it pays to take precautions. Check to see all information is correct before sending funds, and do so over a secured network — be wary of open Wi-Fi networks. You can also check recent transactions in Apple Pay or have a transaction statement emailed to your Apple ID email address to keep track of money sent.

If you notice any discrepancies, contact Apple support and consider disconnecting your credit and debit cards. You can do this even if you don’t have access to your phone or it’s turned off.


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