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Does Apple Pay REALLY WORK Without Internet?

So you’re at a merchant and you take out your iPhone to pay using Apple Pay, and you see that the phone isn’t connecting to mobile data or Wi-Fi. Does Apple Pay work without connecting to the Internet? Let’s answer the question!


TL:DR;

  • ✅ Apple Pay will work without your iPhone connected to the Internet.
  • ❓ Apple Pay doesn’t need an internet connection to make payments as it works like the tap-and-pay feature of credit cards.

Can I Use Apple Pay Without the Internet?

Apple Pay works without needing an internet connection, mobile data or Wi-Fi. Once set up, Apple Pay will work at supported payment terminals even if you’re not connected to the internet. As the card is saved on your iPhone, and the terminal processes the payment, your iPhone doesn’t need to be connected to the internet to process the payment. You can even use Apple Pay while your phone is in Airplane mode.

While the payment can be completed without an internet connection, you will only be able to see the updated list of transactions once you’re connected to the internet again.

How Does Apple Pay Work Without An Internet Connection?

You may be wondering how Apple Pay works without an internet connection. Let me explain it to you. 

Apple Pay is basically a digital wallet that stands as a mediator while you make payments at merchants. While making payments using Apple Pay, you’re not actually sharing the stored card details with the merchant, but rather the device account number and a transaction-specific security code required to complete the transaction. This means your sensitive data aren’t shared anywhere, not with merchants, not even with Apple itself.

Apple Pay payments on iPhones and Apple Watches work pretty much like the contactless payments (tap-and-pay) supported by credit cards. Apple Pay uses NFC technology (Near Field Communication), the same technology used by tap-and-pay to communicate with the merchant terminal which completes the transaction. The actual transaction doesn’t happen at your iPhone, rather the payment terminal, which communicates with the card network to complete the transaction.

This process doesn’t need you to be connected to the internet. Like a physical card that uses tap-to-pay to complete the transaction, even though it isn’t connected to any internet, Apple Pay will work even though your iPhone or Apple Watch is connected to the internet.

Can you use Apple Pay on a watch without cellular?

Yes, you can use Apple Pay on the Apple Watch without an internet connection if your card is already added to the Apple Watch.

Does Apple Pay work in airplane mode?

Yes, Apple Pay will work even if your device is in Airplane Mode, as the payment doesn’t involve your device communicating with the internet. 

Is Apple Pay less secure offline?

Apple Pay works more or less the same online and offline. The only difference is that you’ll be able to see the updated transaction list while you’re online. The process of payments is the same online and offline.

Can I use Apple Pay on a plane? 

You can use Apple Pay on a plane if the airline and its card ready supports contactless payments. 

Abhijith S

Abhijith has been writing about Tech since 2013 on his own blogs. He handles Tech news in KnowYourMobile. He also used to host a YouTube channel about phones. Other than Tech, he is into Formula 1, Wrestling, various TV shows and buying Kindle books he barely reads.

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