The Apple card charges interest

Apple Pay in Germany - questions and answers

Which devices can I use Apple Pay with?

Apple Pay requires a mobile device with an NFC chip to be able to pay in stores. These are the iPhone SE, all iPhone generations from the iPhone 6 and all Apple Watch variants.

The newer iPad models (iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and newer and iPad mini 3 and newer) also work for payment in shopping apps and online retailers. In the Safari browser you can approve online purchases made on the Mac (from year of construction 2012 and macOS Sierra) via iPhone or Apple Watch - on newer Mac models with Touch ID (MacBook Pro and MacBook Air) also via fingerprint.

Which banks and service providers support Apple Pay?

For the Germany launch of Apple Pay on Tuesday, December 11, 2018, the banks Deutsche Bank, Comdirect, Fidor, O2 Banking, Hypovereinsbank (Unicredit), Hanseatic Bank, N26, boon (Wirecard), Fidor Bank, bunq, Vimpay, Edenred and American Express are also involved.

Mastercard, Maestro and Visa support the service, but the respective bank that issues the card must participate. In the meantime, other banks and banking services have followed, including DKB, Consorsbank, Revolut, Klarna and Lufthansa's Miles & More Mastercard. Savings banks, Volks- und Genossenschaftsbanken as well as Ing and Openbank want to follow suit by the end of 2019. [As of September 2019]

Which relevant banks are missing?

At the moment Commerzbank, Postbank and a few smaller private banks are mainly missing. [As of September 2019]

My bank is not on the list. How can I still use Apple Pay?

Opening a smartphone account - for example with N26 - is uncomplicated and can be done with the bank's iPhone app. The Berlin start-up not only offers free account management and a free Mastercard card, but also enables up to five free cash transactions at the ATM. Unlimited Apple Pay support is also included. Fees are only due if you overdraw the account (overdraft interest) or add insurance benefits or additional services.

N26 can not only be used as a replacement for the previous bank account, but also as a supplement. Customers who want to move completely only need to log in to the N26 partner FinReach with the details of the old current account. The service provider takes care of the rest - including informing the previous payment partner, terminating the old account and transferring the credit.

Will Apple Pay also work with the Girocard? Or do you inevitably need a credit card?

A girocard ("EC card") has not yet been set up for Apple Pay. Apple supports real credit cards, with which the money is withdrawn from the linked bank account on a monthly basis, and so-called debit cards. These are credit cards with which the money is debited from the account without delay. You can also use Apple Pay with prepaid credit cards.

The first banks are planning to integrate the checking card in Apple Pay, but implementation is not expected until 2020 at the earliest.

How does the credit card get onto the iPhone or Apple Watch?

The cards are managed in the wallet app, which can also be used for boarding passes or cinema tickets. With the official launch of Apple Pay in Germany, the wallet app received the "Add credit or debit card" function.

If you want to use the card already stored in iTunes, you only have to enter the three-digit security code (Card Validation Code or CSV) once on the back of the card - similar to shopping with a credit card on the web. If you want to use a new card, you don't have to laboriously type in the credit card number, but can capture it with the camera. In many cases, a card can be conveniently set up for Apple Pay via the respective bank's app.

What does the bank learn when I set up Apple Pay?

Anyone who activates Apple Pay at a participating bank goes through a verification process. Among other things, information such as card numbers, name and billing address of the Apple ID and "general information about activities" from Apple ID, iTunes Store or App Store account can be transferred. Apple cites as an example whether a user has been carrying out transactions via iTunes for a long time (see also: Apple calculates the trustworthiness of iPhone and iPad).

In addition, extensive information about the device used is transmitted. For example, the device ID, the telephone number as well as the name and model of the device used and the location.

Can I add multiple credit cards to Apple Pay?

Yes, all compatible devices support up to eight different cards. Owners of newer iPhones aged 8 and up can even use a maximum of twelve cards.

Where can I use Apple Pay?

Apple Pay works at all payment terminals with NFC. The most important discounters, grocery stores and drugstores now support contactless payment: from Aldi to dm, Edeka, Kamps, Lidl, Netto, real, Rewe and Rossmann.

You can also make contactless payments in hardware stores such as Bauhaus and OBI as well as countless retail stores. This also applies to branded petrol stations such as Shell and Aral as well as the Sanifair toilet systems at many motorway service areas and Tchibo shops. Payment via Apple Pay is also possible in the Munich Allianz Arena. There are currently around 820,000 terminals in Germany that support contactless payment - and thus also Apple Pay.

However, the smaller the shop and the more rural the area, the more likely it is that you can only pay with an EC card or cash.

But overall you can hardly complain about too few acceptance points in Germany. In addition to the Apple Pay logo, you can look out for the wavy logo for contactless payments.

The first shopping apps, online shops and service providers have also integrated Apple's payment service, including the airline Easyjet, Foodora, the hotel booking site Booking and the transport providers Mytaxi (now "Free Now") and Flixbus.

How do you pay with Apple Pay?

Paying works in a similar way to a contactless girocard or credit card. You hold the iPhone or Apple Watch close to the terminal to enable NFC communication. You don't have to open the wallet app, it happens automatically. For models with Touch ID, hold your finger on the imprint sensor, that's it.

With the iPhone X, iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, you can first double-press the power button and then enable identification through FaceID - similar to when shopping in the App Store. The payment function is then activated and you hold the iPhone up to the terminal to pay.

With the Apple Watch, too, you have to double-press the side button and then hold the watch up to the terminal. The payment is confirmed with a slight haptic feedback and a sound. No identification is required for amounts under 25 euros. Any amount above this appears on the display so that it can be released using Touch ID, Face ID or PIN code.