How to add a loyalty cards to Apple Wallet. 

The list of content:

  1. What is Apple Wallet 
  2. How to add cards to Apple Wallet in 2022
  3. How to add loyalty cards in Apple Wallet 
  4. How to use Apple Wallet 
  5. Apple Wallet loyalty card in marketing 
  6. Last updates in Apple Wallet 

Loyalty cards are basically cards used as a tool by retailers or business owners to engage and encourage their customers to visit their stores and shop from them repeatedly. These cards offer their customers discounts, rewards, and much more benefits. 

In this guide, we will tell you in detail how to digitalize the loyalty program in Apple Wallet for business. And if you are a customer, here you will find answers on how to add a card to Apple Wallet.

What is Apple Wallet

Apple Wallet is a built-in iPhone app that replaces your traditional wallet. It allows storing and use digitally credit, debit, prepaid cards, event tickets, public transport cards, IDs (in some US states), rewards cards and more via Apple Wallet. 

Residents of selected North American, Asia-Pacific, and several European cities can add travel and transit cards to Apple Wallet. Here is step-by-step guide how to add a transit card to Apple Wallet and to see if your city is in the list. You might also be able to add money to your transit card in the Wallet app.

At WWDC 2020, Apple announced that a number of car manufacturers have integrated the Car Key feature into their vehicles so that car owners can unlock their cars via Apple Wallet. Check here how to add your car key to Apple Wallet and if this feature available for your car.

At WWDC 2021, Apple further expanded the functionality of the Wallet, adding the ability to use your iPhone not only as a Car Key, but a digital version of their hotel keycard A number of US hotel chains have been able to send hotel room keys to guests by mail. After check-out, the key automatically becomes inactive.

At the same WWDC 2021 conference, Apple announced the possibility of enabling ID for US citizens and residents. Right now the resident of Arizona and Colorado can add their driver’s license to Apple Wallet and 11 more states are coming.

At WWDC 2022 Apple announce more changes that are coming in Apple Wallet.  Another standout feature enhanced by Apple is Apple Pay Later. As seen from the title, the feat enables to spread on payments over some weeks. A lot of consumers use the buy now pay later feature through AfterPay, Klarna etc. but it’s limited by partners of the services. Apple Pay Later allows to pay later on any purchases made by Apple Pay. 

Apple Wallet is an all-purpose app that combines the functionality of a wallet, loyalty cards, passes and IDs, etc. In addition, Apple Wallet is one of the most personalized communication channel that businesses use to talk to their customer, learn more about personalized communication in this article.

The Apple Wallet app is available for iPhone users with iOS 9 and later. Apple Wallet is installed on all iPhones by default and cannot be removed.

How to add cards to Apple Wallet in 2022

The Apple Wallet app lets you store all your cards in one place. These include payment bank cards as well as non-payment loyalty cards, rewards cards etc.

In addition to cards, you can add boarding passes, movie tickets, and other events to Apple Wallet.

How to add a debit or credit card to Apple Wallet

Open Apple Wallet app and click on the plus sign in the upper right part of the screen. The card can be added by scanning or entering information from the card, follow the instructions that will be displayed on the iPhone screen. Detailed instructions for adding a card are available on the Apple website.

Adding a credit/dibit card is also available through bank mobile app. Go to the online banking and look for “Add to Wallet/Apple wallet”. 

Apple Cash & Apple Card

Apple Card - is a standard credit card issued by Apple, users sign up for the it via Goldman Sachs. This card only available for US citizens and lawful residents. It has some perks as 3% Cashback for purchases in Apple Store and thought partners. There is no special banking app, user control their finances via Apple Wallet.

Apple Cash is a debit cart operated by Green Dot bank. Money to this card can be added using other Apple Pay debit cards. The Amin perk of Apple Cash is peerr-to-peer payment option. Users can send money just using iMessage. 

How to add loyalty cards in Apple Wallet 

Loyalty cards and reward cards (Walgreens, CVS, etc.), event tickets, boarding passes and a lot more can be stored and used via Apple Wallet.

  • Loyalty cards (discount, bonus, Cashback etc.) of brands;
  • Movie tickets, event tickets;
  • boarding passes;
  • confirmation of hotel reservations (for example via;
  • coupons;
  • Car keys;
  • Home Keys (including hotel locks);
  • Student IDs (for US universities);
  • IDs and driver's licenses (for US citizens).

The initiative to issue Wallet cards to their customers remains with the store. The customer cannot manually create a card that will be accepted in the store. Stores usually inform their customers about the availability of Wallet cards through in-store advertising, email, or SMS. We recommend asking your favorite store if they support Apple Wallet loyalty cards. If not, you can always invite them to start using Direkt as Apple Wallet loyalty cards provider :)

Step-by-step guide how to add rewards card to Apple Wallet

There are several ways to install the card to Apple Wallet:

  • follow the link received in SMS or email;
  • scan a QR code or a barcode marked "Add to Wallet";
  • fill out a special enrollment form;

The link to the loyalty cards  in Apple Wallet can be found in the store mobile app or at the store's website. We recommend looking for the "Add to Apple Wallet" icons next to QR codes and in email newsletters.

How to add cards to Apple Wallet on Apple Watch 

To add credit or debit cards to Apple Watch, open your iPhone, go to Apple Watch app and find Wallet & Apple Pay in the list. You can add those cards that have already been added to the iPhone (you must re-enter the CVV code and SMS confirmation code from the bank), or new ones - the process is similar to adding cards to Apple Wallet on the iPhone, just follow the instructions onscreen.

You don’t need to do any special steps if you want to add the rewards' card to Apple Wallet on Apple Watch, as they appear automatically when they’re added to Apple Wallet min iPhone.

To pay with Apple Watch or loyalty card, just double-click the side button.

How to use Apple Wallet 

How to pay with Apple Wallets cards

Use Face ID to make a purchase:

  • use iPhone to make a payment 
  • To use the default card, double-click the side button
  • Glance at your iPhone to authenticate with Face ID, or enter your passcode
  • Hold the top of iPhone near the proximity reader until "Done" appears on the display with a check mark

Use Touch ID to make a purchase:

  • double-click the Home button
  • To use the default card, place your finger on the Touch ID sensor
  • Hold the top of iPhone near the proximity reader until the display shows Done with a checkmark

Apple Pay is available for online payments if the seller has added this feature through their website or app. You will see an option to "Pay with Apple Pay" at the stage of choosing a payment method. The payment authorization process is similar to the process when paying through the terminal (see above).

How to use loyalty cards in Apple Wallet 

To use your Apple Wallet rewards in a store, open it and present it at the checkout. Typically, the cashier scans the card barcode to complete the transaction.

If the reward card in Apple Wallet contains information about the location of the store, it appears on the lock screen when you are at the store. When checkout, the loyalty card automatically appears at checkout for quick process.

To open Apple Wallet, double-click the lock or home button when the screen is locked. Next, select the card from the list of loyalty cards.

The feature of quickly opening a card in the store is a big advantage of Apple Wallet over other card aggregator apps. If automatic selection of a bonus or bank card is enabled on the back of the card in Apple Wallet, you can use these cards by default.

Setting and managing loyalty cards in Apple Wallet

Open Apple Wallet app and click on the loyalty card from the list. Click the "i" icon on the card to manage it and get more information. The card is flipped to the back side of it. There are some actions can be managed on that side:

  • remove the card;
  • manually update the information on the card (pull down);
  • open or install the app of the store that issued the card;
  • enable or disable auto-update;
  • enable or disable the display of notifications on the lock screen by location or time;
  • enable or disable the automatic selection of Apple Pay NFC-enabled loyalty cards.

Other useful information about the store (company) can also be displayed on the back side of the loyalty card. For example, links, contact information, as well as information about current promotions.

Apple Push for communications

Push notifications from stores will appear on the lock screen without the need for additional settings. In order to receive automatic notifications about discounts, the beginning of sales in the store that issued the rewards card, follow these steps:

  • Go to "Settings", then go to "Notification Center", then - Wallet;
  • Turn on the Banner or Notifications option.

Apple Wallet loyalty cards in marketing

The launch of mobile wallets, specifically the Apple Wallet, has forever changed the way brands, retailers, and even advertisers reach their customers. With Apple Wallet, companies have been able to more easily and efficiently deliver special offers, coupons, and loyalty cards to customers.

Using Apple Wallet loyalty cards helps the brands to stand out along the competitors of many reasons:

  • loyalty cards in Apple Wallet is a personalized communication channel via Apple push
  • Customers who use Apple Wallet rewards card spend more compared to those without.
  • Brands use cards to reactivate customers into purchases
  • Customers are always aware of the status in the loyalty program and are ready to buy more often
  • Apple Wallet location-bases technology helps target particular audience 

Reasons to try out Apple Wallet marketing

Rewards card in the Apple Wallet is a replacement of the loyalty app. Maintaining Apple Wallet cards is much easier and cheaper than maintaining your own app.

That's good news if you don't have the app, but also good news if you do. Because let's face it, not everyone wants to install your app. Most customers prefer this "lightweight format" without having to download an additional application.

Other than that, here are three main reasons why you should use Apple Wallet rewards cards in your business:

  1. Often marketing does not keep up with market trends. Airship research shows that many companies are lagging behind the desire of their customers to use cards in e-wallets. Millennials are often surprised (not in a good way) when they are offered a plastic card somewhere. Companies that follow digital trends receive more attention from the audience of buyers than their competitors.
  2. Increase your presence on the customer's phone device. Who leaves the home without a phone these days? And the work of many people is directly related to the use of mobile devices.
  3. This will make your customers love you even more. A mobile wallet is easier and more convenient to use for non-payment items like coupons, boarding passes, and loyalty cards. How often do you forget to print your boarding pass? How often do you forget to take your phone with you? Case is closed. Mobile wallets ensure your brand doesn't end up in the bottom of a bag or in some drawer.
“Marketers face a challenge: Most customers will not download their brands’ mobile apps. So marketers need to smartly leverage the mobile ecosystem to borrow mobile moments from the popular apps that their customers already use every day. Mobile wallets are such apps.” says Forrester Senior Analyst Xiaofeng Wang at Forbes.

How to create a loyalty card in Apple Wallet for brands

If you think that to issue cards you need to become a developer, get special certificates and software to create these loyalty cards in Apple Wallet, then yes - you are right. But it is already done and ready to use.

The Direkt is an all-in-one platform that provides business with a turnkey integrated solution - a convenient Apple Wallet card designer, tool for subscriber list creation, managing and analyzing, customer base segmentation and messaging.

Direkt helps companies segment customers, recover lost customers, send campaign text messages with a 35% CTR by means of:

  • loyalty program digitalization in Apple Wallet;
  • Customization of the design of loyalty cards Apple Wallet;
  • CRM / POS sync with Direkt to personalize reward cards in Apple Wallet and communication;
  • Collection of the customer data via enrollment form ;
  • Customer data segmentation (RFM analysis, static and dynamic segments)
  • Sending campaigns text messages via SMS, Apple push, web push, emails
  • Sending automated text messages to welcome, activate and recover customers using pre-built templates.

Timeline changes in Apple Wallet 

Wallet was developed by Apple Inc. and was presented at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 11, 2012. The app first appeared on iOS6 on September 19, 2012 and was called Passbook.


Apple has announced a new app, Passbook, that allows iPhone users to store loyalty cards, coupons, boarding passes and tickets on their smartphone. Apps like this had already been released before, but this was something completely new for Apple. Together with the Apple application, they introduced a new card format - .pkpass.


Apple has made a lot of changes to the Passbook app, mostly in terms of the looks of the cards in the app. The icon of the app was changed.


Apple Pay came to the United States, which allowed users to pay using their smartphones. iPhone' holders had the opportunity to add their payment cards in addition to loyalty cards using the Passbook app.


The launch of Apple Pay and the ability to add payment cards to the smartphone was followed by the renaming of the application from Passbook to Wallet. In addition, users have the opportunity to pay using Apple Watch.


Launching of Apple Pay in different countries outside the US. Right now, users can use Apple Pay to pay in browser,


The main innovations in Wallet are the ability for students to add student IDs to the app and the ability to use contactless cards. These updates are only for US users at that moment.


US students now have the ability to add their student IDs to Apple Wallet and use them as an entry pass and payment card to pay for meals and other on-campus purchases.


In 2020, Apple introduced its own credit card integrated into Apple Wallet, as well as an instant transfer service between users of Apple Pay Cash technology. Both services were only available in the United States and for US citizens.


The number of manufacturers integrating Apple Car Key into their cars has expanded. Added the ability to store NFC electronic keys for door locks in Apple Wallet. Citizens of some US states can add driver's licenses and ID cards to Apple Wallet.


Apple introduced the feature Apple Pay Later, allowing user to make payments in installments. Order tracking via app and extended features to Home Keys.