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What’s the iPhone Wallet App Good For?

by Sarah Dobson on October 28, 2019

Apple’s Wallet app—which is available on the iPhone and iPod touch—enables you to pay in a modern way. Just like a real-world wallet, Wallet holds credit and debit cards, store cards, tickets, and cash, but doesn’t take up more space in your pocket. 

Increasingly, if you buy something like a concert ticket online, you can add it to Wallet by tapping the “Add to Apple Wallet” button in the confirmation. Adding a ticket, which Apple calls a pass, to Wallet makes it easy to show to an usher. Some store cards can also be added.

Here’s what you can do in Wallet.

Display Your Cards

The main Wallet screen shows your cards and passes in a scrollable list, with credit/debit cards listed first. (If you’ve set up Apple Pay Cash, it’s treated as a debit card.)

To view a card or pass more fully, tap it.

In the case of a credit/debit card, you see the face of the card and a list of recent Apple Pay transactions from that card—for a longer list of transactions, tap the i button on the lower-right of the card and tap the Transactions button.

For boarding passes for an airplane trip, you see a single pass in the main list, but after you tap it, you can swipe horizontally to display the passes for each leg of the trip.

Credit and Debit Cards

Adding a credit/debit card starts with tapping the blue + at the upper right of the Wallet screen. From there, follow the prompts—you can scan your card instead of keying in the data.

If you add more than one card, you’ll want to specify the default card for Apple Pay: Go to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay. Scroll down to Transaction Defaults, and tap Default Card. Tap the desired card. In Wallet, the default card appears with its full face showing, below your other credit/debit cards.

To pay with a stored credit/debit card at a payment terminal, put the top of your iPhone near the terminal. The iPhone may automatically prompt you to authenticate Apple Pay, but if not, from the Lock screen, double-click the Home button (with the iPhone X, double-click the side button). Wallet displays your default card. To authenticate, rest your finger on the Home button (with the iPhone X, authenticate with Face ID). To use a non-default card, tap the card pile at the bottom of the screen and then tap that card.

Storing Cards

Some store cards can be accessed digitally in Wallet. The process for adding a store card begins with installing and opening the store’s app: Scroll down to the bottom of the main Wallet screen and tap Edit Passes. Scroll down and tap Find Apps for Wallet. Scroll down to view the list of apps. To install an app, tap Get.

Once the app is open, view your card in the app, and tap Add to Apple Wallet. Now, switch to the Wallet app, tap the card, and tap the card’s i button to configure the card’s behavior in Wallet or share it with someone else (such as your spouse).

Deleting Cards

Although you may want to keep some digital tickets for nostalgic reasons, it’s best to clean out old items:

  • To delete a credit/debit card, tap the card to view it and then tap the i button. Tap the Info button, scroll down, and tap Remove Card.
  • To remove a ticket or store card, go to the bottom of the main Wallet screen and tap Edit Passes. Tap the red delete buttons as desired, and then tap Done at the upper right.

Using Wallet makes it easier to leave a bulky purse or wallet at home. It can take a few minutes to add your cards initially, but it’s worth the effort.

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