I don’t know about you, but I always purchase a strong case to go with my new phone.
As much as I appreciate the design and engineering put into modern smartphones, I’m far too clumsy not to protect my investment.
Hardshell protective cases like Otterbox and LifeProof are my go-to brands.
The downside is that these cases can make your iPhone rather hefty.
It may even have you wondering if wireless features like Apple Pay will still work.
Will Apple Pay Work Through A Case?
Apple Pay can usually work through most cases. The NFC module built-in to iPhones is strong enough to reach through the back of an Otterbox and still be read by the card reader. Battery cases are the most common issues you’ll have using Apple Pay through a case.
In my experience, Apple has designed their devices well enough that accessories can be designed to easily avoid removing functionality.
This is often best highlighted by notch cuts for cameras and fingerprint readers, but it also applies to making sure Bluetooth and NFC signals are strong.
As popular as Apple Pay has become, it’d be a real shame to be unable to use the best protective accessories and lose them.
That’s why it’s important to note that there are exceptions to this rule.
Some cases attempt to add new features at the expense of built-in ones.
The most common case type that can interfere with your iPhone’s Apple Pay is extended battery cases.
These accessories usually have a thick battery that is placed across the back of the device and may interrupt NFC wireless signals.
Does Apple Pay Work Through Thick Cases?
Apple Pay works through most thick cases, but there are a few exceptions.
Otterbox and LifeProof cases are thick, but the material doesn’t block your iPhone’s wireless signals. At least not in a functional way.
The only cases that may impair your iPhone’s connectivity and NFC functions will have extended battery packs or other electronic components built-in to add some kind of feature.
These cases are rarer than the typical gel or hardshell cases found in almost every retail store.
An important side note is that manufacturers of Apple accessories are aware of their product’s shortcomings and often engineer solutions.
Just check the details of any non-typical phone case to make sure it won’t interfere with your iPhone’s features.
Does Apple Pay Work With LifeProof Case?
Apple Pay most certainly works with LifeProof cases.
These cases can add quite an extra bit of girth to your smartphone, but they aren’t thick enough to prevent your iPhone’s NFC features like AirDrop or Apple Pay.
Wireless signal modules in modern flagship devices are rather powerful.
In fact, Bluetooth modules are often stifled by software restrictions on purpose to comply with airwave frequency laws.
NFC, on the other hand, uses a signal that doesn’t reach as far. It’s a part of the name, Near-Field-Communication.
While the signal doesn’t reach very far, it is rather powerful within the applicable range.
NFC’s signal reliability can be blocked, but only by materials with strong field deflection properties like aluminum, copper, and alloy nickel.
This is rather useful information for preventing signal blockage and for creating it on purpose.
These materials are the most commonly found in RFID-blocking wallets and bags.
While Apple’s software security is tight, it’s not invulnerable.
It never hurts to consider an RFID-blocking wallet or bag if you live in a heavily populated area.
Technology is everywhere in the world today which means there are plenty of people who can use it to their advantage.
A little extra protection never hurts.
Just keep in mind that if you do choose to use RFID blocking cases or wallets, it will interfere with NFC features like AirDrop and Apple Pay.
You can get the best of both worlds by having a case that your smartphone can easily slide in and out of.
Does MagSafe Wallet Work With Any Case?
The Apple MagSafe Wallet has safety features built-in to protect the cards you keep in it safe from unwanted wireless purchase attempts.
It achieves this with a material lining inside the outer leather layer that blocks radio frequencies.
Unfortunately, it also blocks your iPhone’s wireless features.
The good news is that the MagSafe Wallet is magnetic.
That means it’s easy to take off and snap back on when you need to.
It’s an extra step, but not outside the realm of reasonability.
Some have attempted to change the placement of the MagSafe Wallet on their iPhone with little success in freeing up the signal for Apple Pay.
If you want to use a MagSafe Wallet without repeatedly removing it and applying it back on, you can always use an Apple Watch.
The MagSafe Wallet doesn’t block your iPhone’s Bluetooth connection.
That means your Apple Watch will still work for quick wireless pay at the register.
Just to recap, the Apple MagSafe Wallet will block your Apple Pay. However, it can be easily removed from your phone’s back or you can use an Apple Watch for Apple Pay.
Can My Phone Case Stop Apple Pay from Working?
Most iPhone cases are made from plastic materials, rubber, silicon, or carbon. These materials are strong and durable to protect against falls and accidents, but it doesn’t block wireless signals. It takes something more like aluminum, alloy nickel, or copper to block radio frequencies.
These materials can sometimes be found in batteries, charging coils, or piping. This is the reason less popular accessories with uncommon features like extended battery cases or controller cases.
Is Apple Pay Safe or Should I Turn It Off?
Apple Pay’s security is not just a product of Apple engineers, but also the banking industry.
In order to be used for payment transactions and with ATMs, Apple Pay has to be designed to meet specific security requirements.
This is one of the features of Apple Pay that is not found in Samsung Pay or Google Pay, yet.
If you’re worried about day-to-day security, it’s not a bad idea to turn off certain features when you are not using them.
Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, and NFC features are not required all the time.
In some cases, you can save a lot of battery by toggling them off when you aren’t using them.
There’s also no better security against unwanted wireless connections than turning off the receiver.
Another option for the more prepared is RFID blocking cases and wallets.
These accessories are lined with either aluminum, alloy nickel, or copper to block wireless signals from getting in or out.
That means you can leave these features on, but they won’t be able to connect to anything while they are in the case.
Is Apple Pay Any Good?
Apple Pay is among the most secure options for wireless payment systems.
Apple has partnered with leading banks in the industry to reach the security requirements for use at even security risk environments like an ATM.
It can be used in almost all retail locations and as a payment system for online purchases.
In 2022, there still isn’t much to worry about when using features like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Google Pay.