What if you could finally use Apple Pay in your unsupported country? What if you had great digital payments security (Apple Pay physical chip encrypts each transaction and doesn’t reveal your card data to anyone), didn’t have to take your wallet with you to buy goods, and could confuse the hell out of cashiers who are not used to customers paying with a phone (or a watch!)? Good news!
Here’s a clear guide to using Apple Pay in your country and enjoying all the benefits of Apple Pay digital money security, easy payments, and not having to take your wallet with you. Or having an internet connection because Apple Pay works like a normal bank card which doesn’t use the internet.
Prologue. You might have read the article about setting up a Boon virtual card to enable Apple Pay. Well, in March 2019 Boon stopped supporting bank cards issued outside Apple Pay countries, making it only possible to top-up the Boon account with a wire transfer. And that takes 20 hours. This is why I found out about Monese. Here is a simple guide on how to use Apple Pay in your unsupported country.
Step 1. Get the FCA licensed Apple Pay whitelisted online banking app Monese on your iPhone. Sign up. Order the free contactless Mastercard.
👉 Open App Store and download Monese. Sign up with the invite code DAVIS214 and get a €5 gift when you top-up your Monese account.
👉 Sign up with your mobile number and your real residence address (it does not have to be in Apple Pay supported countries), and record the fun selfie KYC video recording to complete the onboarding to the online banking app
👉 Order contactless Mastercard (free of charge because you’ll have a €5 gift). The card does NOT have a monthly fee. View all Monese fees here or read the Too Long, Didn’t Read summary below.
Step 2. Wait until your new Mastercard arrives in your physical mailbox of your residence.
👉 Activate the card in the iPhone app
EDIT: The Mastercard arrived in 3 days (!!!) to a friend in Sigulda, Latvia. My card arrived in ~7 days to Riga, Latvia.
Step 3. Temporarily change the region of your iPhone (and Apple Watch) AND country in Monese app to enable adding card function to your Apple Wallet. You will change the region back right afterward.
To change your iPhone region:
👉 Open Settings > General > Language & Region > Ireland > Agree to T&C > Select Payment Method None and re-enter your home address leaving Postcode blank > Smile!
To change your Monese country:
👉 Open Monese > Account > Personal details > Personal address > Country or State (optional) > Ireland. Funny that this is “optional” 😉
To change your Apple Watch region:
👉 Open Watch app on your iPhone > General > Language & Region > Region > Ireland > Wait for your Apple Watch to catch up > Smile!
Your existing apps and documents on your iPhone and Apple Watch will NOT change.
N. B. Existing recurring payment subscriptions in the App Store will be canceled. You’ll need to resubscribe afterward.
Step 3. Add your new Mastercard to Apple Wallet from the Monese App on your iPhone (and Apple Watch).
👉 Your iPhone will pop many notifications to help you add the card to your Wallet.
Step 4. Change iPhone (and Apple Watch) region and Monese country back to your home country.
Step 5. Double-click the home button, or double-click the side-button of your Apple Watch.
Voila! Apple Pay is now alive for you. Now go out and confuse the hell out of cashiers at shops who support ‘normal’ contactless NFC card payments. Smile!
A cool feature is that Apple Pay works without an internet connection. 😉
View Monese fees here. “Too long, didn’t read” version? Free Monese account offers you ATM cash withdrawals for €1 each, and the instant top-up commission is 0.35%. A €10 Monese top-up cost me €10.04 which is OK. The Premium Monese account for €14.95/month gives you unlimited FREE ATM cash withdrawals (this is cool) and free instant top-ups.
N. B. You can only top up your Monese account with bank cards that support 3D Secure authorization like Swedbank, SEB, Citadele, etc. OR you can top-up your Monese account with a wire transfer.
P. S. If the first time the contactless credit card terminal doesn’t accept your iPhone (like it didn’t for me) then change the angle and aim the terminal with your iPhone’s head.
P. P. S. All bank cards that are issued outside the Apple Pay country you choose will NOT work even after you change the region to Ireland. Cards like N26 WILL work if they are originally issued in Apple Pay countries.
Download Monese, sign up with the invite code DAVIS214 and get a €5 gift when you top-up your Monese account.