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The quickest way I know of to launch the wallet app in "tap-to-pay" mode is to:

  • lock the phone,
  • double-tap the home button,
  • activate Touch ID

Is there a way to do this without locking the phone first, to make it quicker?

Double-tap when the phone is unlocked will bring up the app switcher.

Note: This question is for phones with Touch ID, e.g. iPhone 6, iPhone 7

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Go to Settings -> Control Center and add Wallet to the active list. Then you can swipe from Control Center and select Wallet any time the phone is unlocked.

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    Should have been clearer, but that does not launch "tap-to-pay"
    – sdgfsdh
    May 8, 2019 at 14:27
  • clicking on a card will activate tap-to-pay–I don't think there's a faster way to do this on an iPhone with home buttons
    – Ezekiel
    May 8, 2019 at 15:37
  • When I do it on my iPhone XS from control center I get a view of a card, probably (?) my most recently used. From that screen a double click on side button activates Apple Pay and i get a “hold the phone near a reader” message. How much quicker could it be? Force pressing on the control center icon also lets you choose the card.
    – samh
    May 8, 2019 at 16:30
  • @samh On the iPhone XS you can double click the side button to activate Apple Pay no matter what screen is showing or whether the phone is locked, you don't need to have the wallet showing.
    – Lizzan
    May 9, 2019 at 6:35
  • Hm. Did not realize!
    – samh
    May 9, 2019 at 11:46

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