How to Use Apple Pay When Your iPhone is Off: A Convenient Solution for Dead Batteries

In today’s fast-paced world, the thought of leaving behind your physical cards and relying solely on digital payment methods like Apple Pay is both appealing and nerve-wracking. Many fear the scenario where their iPhone battery dies, leaving them unable to make transactions. However, Apple has crafted a solution that allows you to use Apple Pay even when your iPhone is off.

Let’s explore how this works and discuss the security implications to see if it’s the right choice for you.

iPhone pay

How to Use Apple Pay on a Dead iPhone

Apple Pay can still function when your iPhone is turned off thanks to a feature called “Express Card.” To set this up, simply open the Wallet app, select the card you want to use as your Express Card, navigate to the card details, and activate the Express Card option. This setting enables you to make payments without needing to unlock your iPhone or even have it powered on.

The Express Card is particularly handy as it doesn’t require a battery charge to work. Your iPhone uses a reserve power mode to allow the Express Card feature to operate for about a day or two after the battery dies, similar to how you can still access emergency services on a dead phone.

Considerations and Security Measures

While the convenience of an Express Card is undeniable, it’s essential to consider the security risks. Since the card can be used without unlocking the phone, it’s akin to carrying a physical card that doesn’t require a PIN for small transactions. For larger purchases, typically over 20 or 50 euros (depending on your bank’s settings), a PIN will still be required, which adds a layer of security.

It is recommended to use this feature with a prepaid card or a card with a limited balance to mitigate potential risks, such as in cases where your phone might be lost or stolen. Just like losing a wallet, if someone steals your iPhone, they could potentially use the Express Card to make small purchases.

Additional Uses for Express Mode

The versatility of the Express Mode extends beyond just making payments. It can also be configured for transport passes or loyalty cards, which are less of a security risk but equally convenient to have accessible on your powered-down phone. Furthermore, this feature is not exclusive to iPhones; Apple Watches also support adding a card to Express Mode, providing further flexibility across your devices.

The Verdict on Safety and Convenience

Ultimately, using the Express Card feature on Apple Pay provides a blend of convenience and security. It’s designed for situations when you might unexpectedly run out of battery, yet need to continue making payments or use certain services. However, like any tool that simplifies access, it comes with a responsibility to manage it wisely, considering the potential security implications.