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I am trying to use ApplePay for the first time. I have a link set up with my debit card, and verified that with the bank.

Now in the web page of the vendor from whom I wish to make a purchase, I clicked the Apple Pay option to display a Apple Pay dialog. That dialog shows my credit card info. But it has a red error message at bottom saying "Verify Contact Information". The "Contact" field has red letters "PHONE NUMBER REQUIRED".

I have no idea whose phone number it wants, nor what I should do next.

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The support link doesn’t spell this out well, but in my experience this has always been about the billing address no zip code / postal code or other oddities where the data you enter for Apple doesn’t translate perfectly to the seller via API.

You want to add your phone number like a courier service (FedEx) would ring for delivery issues. Examine any odd characters in your address or postal code (in the US, Apple wanted zip+4 but I had to get them to remove it since many vendors couldn’t handle a - or more than 5 digits.

Sometimes you can add the info as a one time override right before paying. I’ve found that unreliable and fixing my info with Apple was more reliable of a fix.

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