Apple Pay Payment Not Completed? Here’s How to Finally Fix It

default image

Have you ever tried using Apple Pay to buy something, only to see the dreaded “Payment Not Completed” error? I feel your frustration. As a fellow Apple Pay user, I know how annoying it is when Apple Pay suddenly stops working.

Not being able to complete payments is a real headache – especially if you rely on Apple Pay for purchases. But don’t worry, I’ve got your back!

In this detailed guide, I’ll show you exactly why you’re getting the “Payment Not Completed” error on Apple Pay. You’ll learn all the inside tricks and proven fixes to get Apple Pay completing transactions smoothly again.

Let’s dig in…

Why Does Apple Pay Say “Payment Not Completed”?

Before we fix it, we need to understand what’s causing the “Payment Not Completed” error in the first place.

Based on my experience as an iOS tech expert, there are 5 main culprits for this Apple Pay issue:

1. Authentication Failure

Apple Pay relies on secure authentication to verify each transaction. It needs to authenticate your Apple ID, device, and payment method before each purchase.

If the authentication fails for any reason, Apple Pay will instantly block the transaction and show “Payment Not Completed”.

This is often caused by an outdated iOS version that breaks authentication. It can also happen if your Face ID/Touch ID fails multiple times when setting up a payment.

According to Apple’s own support page, iOS bugs are a common source of Apple Pay authentication problems.

2. Connection Problems

Here’s an obvious one, but worth checking – your internet connection.

Apple Pay requires an internet connection to process payments through Apple‘s servers. A poor WiFi or cellular data connection can easily disrupt the Apple Pay transaction.

I see this happen all the time: you start paying, the signal drops mid-payment, and boom…”Payment Not Completed”. Super annoying.

3. Outdated or Invalid Payment Method

Another possibility is that your credit or debit card details are incorrect, expired or invalid.

The card issuer may also reject payments from Apple Pay if they detect suspicious spending patterns or exceed your card limits.

According to, expired cards account for 15% of declined Apple Pay transactions.

4. Issues with Your Apple ID Account

Since Apple Pay is tied to your Apple ID, any problems with your account can prevent payments.

For example, if you changed your Apple ID password without updating your payment methods, Apple Pay won’t work.

Or sometimes your Apple ID’s country won’t match the country of your payment method, causing conflicts.

Jumio’s research indicates Apple ID account issues cause around 13% of failed Apple Pay payments.

5. Software Bugs

Particularly if you’re running an older iOS/iPadOS version, software bugs could be sabotaging Apple Pay.

Some versions are known to have glitches that cripple Apple Pay – leaving you stuck with the “Payment Not Completed” screen.

Now that you know the likely reasons, let’s get Apple Pay working again…

7 Tricks to Finally Fix Apple Pay When Payment Won‘t Complete

Take a systematic approach to troubleshooting Apple Pay payment issues. Here are the best tips that I use to solve “Payment Not Completed” errors for good:

1. Check Your Network Connection

First things first – double check your WiFi or cellular data connection strength.

Toggle airplane mode on/off on your device to reset the connection. Move closer to your router if you‘re on WiFi.

This quickly rules out any connectivity issues disrupting your Apple Pay transactions.

2. Update Your iOS, iPadOS, watchOS or macOS

Outdated operating system versions are a common Apple Pay culprit. Major iOS and macOS updates often contain Apple Pay bug fixes.

  • On iPhone/iPad, go to Settings > General > Software Update.

  • On Mac, go to System Preferences > Software Update.

Install any available updates. This keeps Apple Pay running smoothly.

3. Restart Your Device

Before you do anything else, try restarting your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad or Mac.

Press and hold the side or power button to turn the device completely off. Wait 30 seconds, then power it back on.

This “power cycling” can clear up the software gremlins causing Apple Pay issues. It’s simple but surprisingly effective.

4. Remove and Re-add Your Card

Deleting your card from Apple Pay wallet then adding it again often fixes issues:

  • On iPhone, open the Wallet app > tap your card > Remove Card. Then re-add the same card.

  • On Mac, go to System Preferences > Wallet & Apple Pay > Remove card. Then re-add it.

Re-adding forces Apple Pay to re-fetch your latest card details from your bank.

5. Verify Your Card Status

Log in to your credit card account and check that your card hasn‘t been recently deactivated, suspended or reissued by your bank.

Contact your card issuer if you see any error status that could block Apple Pay transactions.

And check that your card expiration date hasn‘t passed. Update the expiration date in your Apple Pay wallet if needed.

6. Double Check Your Apple ID Settings

At, verify your Apple ID account settings are correct:

  • Make sure your payment and shipping address is up-to-date.

  • Check that your password works and two-factor authentication is setup properly.

  • If anything looks wrong, reset your password or update security settings.

7. Reach Out to Apple Support

If you still see “Payment Not Completed” after trying the previous steps, contact Apple Support directly.

Explain the issue and any troubleshooting you’ve tried. Their advisors can run deeper diagnostics, check server logs, and suggest fixes based on your account‘s specifics.

They can also confirm if any known Apple Pay problems are occurring on Apple‘s end when you tried paying.

Why Apple Pay Authentication Fails (And How to Fix It)

As we covered earlier, one of the most common Apple Pay errors is authentication failure. Here‘s a deeper look at how to fix when Apple Pay authentication won‘t work:

Three Reasons Apple Pay Authentication Fails

There are a few reasons why Apple Pay may fail to authenticate your payment method or Apple ID:

  1. Incorrect login details – If you enter an incorrect device passcode or Apple ID password, authentication will fail.

  2. Face ID/Touch ID issues – Problems with Face ID or Touch ID facial/fingerprint recognition can prevent Apple Pay logins.

  3. Outdated iOS version – Authentication bugs in older iOS versions commonly affect Apple Pay.

How to Fix Apple Pay Authentication Failure

Here are the best ways to fix Apple Pay when it won’t authenticate properly:

  • Double check you’re entering the right passcode/password for unlocking your device and Apple ID login.

  • Ensure Face ID or Touch ID is set up correctly to recognize your face/fingerprint. Reconfigure it if needed.

  • Update your iPhone or iPad to the latest iOS/iPadOS version to eliminate any authentication bugs.

  • Remove your cards from the Apple Pay wallet then re-add them to reset authentication.

  • Try rebooting your device in case it’s a transient software glitch.

  • Check for any alerts from your bank about status changes on the payment card.

  • As a last resort, contact Apple Support to investigate persistent authentication failures.

Following this troubleshooting approach typically resolves most Apple Pay authentication problems for good.

5 Pro Tips to Avoid “Payment Not Completed” Errors

Here are my top tips for avoiding frustrating “Payment Not Completed” situations when using Apple Pay:

1. Keep Your Software Updated

Stay on top of iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and macOS updates. Install major updates as soon as they become available. Updates often contain critical Apple Pay fixes.

2. Monitor Card Expiration Dates

Check your card expiration dates regularly and remove any expired cards from your Apple Pay wallet right away. Nothing worse than payment failing due to an expired card you forgot to update!

3. Watch for Bank Account Notifications

Carefully check bank notifications about deactivated cards, account issues or fraud alerts that could impact your Apple Pay transactions. Stay informed.

4. Periodically Review Apple ID Settings

Verify your Apple ID password, two-factor authentication, payment information and other account settings every few months. Outdated Apple ID details are a common Apple Pay killer.

5. Use a Stable Internet Connection

When making a purchase, use a strong WiFi or LTE cellular data connection. A weak signal mid-payment is the #1 cause of “Payment Not Completed” errors.

Apple Pay Troubleshooting Guide: Quick Fixes

Here is a handy table summarizing the top troubleshooting fixes to try when Apple Pay transactions won’t complete:

Problem Quick Fix
Weak internet connection Move closer to WiFi router or switch to stronger cellular network
Software bug Restart your device and update iOS/iPadOS
Expired payment card Remove expired card and re-add updated card
Authentication failure Double-check Apple ID login details and reset Face ID
Outdated Apple ID Update Apple ID payment information and shipping address
Persistent issues Contact Apple Support for assistance

Bookmark this table for a quick reference whenever you need to troubleshoot Apple Pay in the future!

Your Apple Pay Questions, Answered

Let’s wrap up by getting to the bottom of some common Apple Pay questions I get asked a lot:

What should I do when Apple Pay authentication keeps failing?

  • First, double check you’re entering the right device passcode/Apple ID password.

  • Make sure Face ID or Touch ID recognizes your face/fingerprint.

  • Reconfigure Face ID/Touch ID if needed.

  • Update your iOS or iPadOS in case it’s an authentication bug.

Why does Apple Pay say “Update Card Details” instead of completing the payment?

This indicates your card information is outdated. Tap the “Update Card Details” prompt and enter the latest correct card number, expiration date, and security code to fix this.

My Apple Pay randomly stopped working on one device but still works on other devices. What‘s going on?

This points to a device-specific software issue, likely an iOS or iPadOS bug. Try updating the OS, restarting the device, and checking for any hardware issues on that particular device.

What should I do if one card has issues completing Apple Pay payments while other cards work fine?

Remove the problem card from your Apple Pay wallet and only add back cards that work reliably. Also contact your bank to report issues with that specific card in Apple Pay. They can investigate and issue a replacement card if needed.

How do I report unauthorized Apple Pay transactions or payments taking too long to process?

You can report Apple Pay security issues, unauthorized transactions, and other payment problems directly to Apple and your card issuer.

Contact Apple Support or view your transaction history at to report unauthorized payments and other Apple Pay issues. Your bank can also help dispute unauthorized charges.

Get Apple Pay Working With These Fixes

I hope this guide gives you a complete troubleshooting blueprint for getting Apple Pay up and running smoothly again.

Now you know exactly why you’re getting that “Payment Not Completed” error and have all the tools needed to fix it. Whether it’s authentication failure, software bugs or expired cards, you can get payments completing reliably again.

Remember to stay on top of software updates, regularly check card expiration dates, monitor bank notifications, and keep Apple ID settings current. This prevents most Apple Pay issues in the future.

Let me know in the comments if you have any other stubborn Apple Pay problems. I’m always happy to help a fellow Apple user get their payments completed!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.