Integrating Apple Pay and Google Pay pass-through digital wallet as a payment method - A how to guide | CatalystPay

Integrating Apple Pay and Google Pay pass-through digital wallet as a payment method - A how to guide

  • 11 min read
  • 20 september 2023

A ‘pass-through digital wallet’ is a type of digital wallet or a payment method that facilitates transactions by securely transmitting payment information from the customer to a payment service provider or merchant, without storing the funds. In short, it acts as an intermediary that ‘passes through’ payment details to complete a transaction without holding a balance or funds within the wallet itself. pularity, with a Juniper research predicting that the overall value of transactions will reach $16 trillion by 2028, from a total of $9 trillion in 2023. 

There’s this misconception in the Central Eastern Europe (CEE) region that the transition from traditional card-based transactions to pass-through digital wallets is a complex ordeal. The penetration of cash-on-delivery payments in the region has entrenched the notion that anything beyond conventional payment methods may pose a challenge. 

Pass-through digital wallets are often categorized as alternative payment methods (APMs), but the actual implementation process frequently mirrors that of traditional card payments. Once the initial setup is accomplished, the distinction between pass-through digital wallets and conventional cards blurs. In practice, this means that from a merchant's perspective, processing payments via digital wallets becomes remarkably intuitive and user-friendly. Through the implementation of user-friendly solutions like COPYandPAY instead of the conventional API, businesses can benefit from the flexibility of pass-through digital wallet payments, unlocking the numerous benefits they offer.


This article in a nutshell:

  • Digital wallets account for $9 trillion worth of transactions in 2023, with predictions showing this number will almost double by 2028; 
  • Pass-through digital wallets work as cards from a payment service provider point of view, so they’re easy to manage once installed; 
  • The step-by-step guide for the pass-through digital wallet integration process, both for Apple Pay and Google Pay;
  • COPYandPAY alternatives are much easier to set up compared to the conventional APIs;
  • Finally, the benefits of this complementary payment method are twofold - they help businesses loyalize customers, and they also ensure flexibility for users. 

Why It’s Crucial To Integrate Pass-Through Digital Wallet Payments In 2023

Digital wallets, especially pass-through digital wallets, have become a cornerstone of modern financial transactions. Their popularity among both users and businesses stems from their convenience, security, and potential for cost savings. Pass-through digital wallets, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, are revolutionizing the way we make payments. These secure and efficient platforms store users' payment information, allowing for quick and hassle-free transactions. 

For users, the appeal is obvious: no need to fumble for cash or cards, just a simple tap or click to complete a purchase. 

Businesses, on the other hand, are drawn to pass-through digital wallets because they offer a competitive edge, tap into a wider customer base, and simplify payment processing.

How Pass-Through Digital Wallets Work

Understanding how pass-through digital wallets work is crucial. These wallets securely store users' credit card or bank account details, encrypt them, and transmit the necessary payment information to a payment gateway or PSP when a purchase is initiated. The process is seamless and ensures quick, reliable, and secure transactions, similar to how credit card payments function. This is why they’re a useful complementary payment method on top of the classical card payment. 

Benefits of Integrating Pass-Through Digital Wallets

Security Measures and Competitive Advantages

The security measures inherent in pass-through digital wallets are robust, employing advanced encryption and tokenization to protect sensitive data.  Their adoption provides businesses with a competitive edge by keeping pace with evolving payment preferences, enhancing customer loyalty, and expanding market reach.

Seamless User Experience 

Integrating pass-through digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay through solutions like COPYandPAY offers businesses a distinct advantage. This approach ensures a seamless, user-friendly experience, simplifying setup and streamlining payment processing. To learn more about the benefits of COPYandPAY versus traditional API methods, check out our in-depth articleIn the era of digital commerce, embracing pass-through digital wallets is a strategic move that can propel businesses into the future of payments.


One of the key concerns for merchants considering pass-through digital wallets is pricing. It's important to note that, from a merchant's perspective, pass-through digital wallets are often treated similarly to card payments in terms of pricing. This means that they’re not expensive to support, and they provide lots of extra benefits on the side which in turn help increase the overall number of monthly transactions. 

Integrating ApplePay As A Payment Method

Apple Pay transactions are essentially credit card transactions, but with an added layer of security. When a user makes a payment using Apple Pay, their card information is tokenized and encrypted by Apple, resulting in what is known as a payment token. This tokenization process ensures that sensitive payment data is shielded from potential threats.

Once the Secure eCommerce Gateway receives this payment token, it undergoes decryption to retrieve vital payment information. This data includes a tokenized credit card number and a 3D-Secure verification ID, among other details. Subsequently, the gateway processes the transaction as it would with a regular credit card transaction.

Configuration Process for Apple Pay Integration

To enable Apple Pay within your payment infrastructure, you need to follow a set of well-defined steps. Here's a simplified guide to getting started:

  1. Create a Merchant ID: Begin by visiting the Apple Developer platform. Navigate to the ‘Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles’ section and create a Merchant ID.
  2. Generate a Key (CSR): On your end, you'll need to configure the connection and generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR). At CatalystPay, we) can assist you with this step by providing the necessary details.
  3. Certificate Creation: Return to the Apple Developer center, select the Merchant ID you created, and choose ‘Create Certificate’. Upload the CSR file you generated in the previous step.
  4. Download Certificate: After uploading the CSR file, you'll be able to download a certificate. This certificate is a critical piece of the puzzle and must be provided to your PSP to facilitate the integration process.
  5. Activation, if Necessary: Depending on your specific use case, you might need to activate the certificate within the Apple Developer environment.

Apple Pay Integration Methods

For server-to-server integration, Apple Pay offers two distinct APIs, each catering to different scenarios:

  • Apple Pay with encrypted payment token: In this approach, you can send the encrypted payment token as it is. The payment gateway does the decryption and processes the transaction. 
  • Apple Pay with decrypted card information: You can do the decryption yourself and send the decrypted card information.

By following the configuration steps diligently, you can seamlessly integrate this popular payment method into your business operations, providing a secure and convenient payment experience for your customers. 

Integrating GooglePay As A Payment Method

Google Pay also holds a significant position in the digital payment landscape, offering users a secure and convenient way to make transactions with their stored credit or debit cards. 

Understanding Google Pay Transactions

Google Pay simplifies payments by allowing customers to securely utilize any stored credit or debit card for their transactions. When a user opts for Google Pay as their payment method, the process ensures the utmost security for their sensitive card information.

On the configuration front, Google Pay offers a streamlined approach, making it relatively straightforward to set up the connection for server-to-server transactions, especially when compared to other payment methods.

Google Pay Integration Methods

  • Google Pay with encrypted card information: You can send the encrypted payment token as is. The payment gateway does the decryption and processes the transaction. 
  • Google Pay with decrypted card information: You can do the decryption yourself and send the decrypted card information.


Digital payments are evolving at a very fast pace, and pass-through digital wallets provide the flexibility your customers need. As Google Pay and Apple Pay become driving forces in the paradigm shift of digital transactions, you might opt for them for any number of reasons from increased revenue for your business to convenience and security for your customers. 

At CatalystPay, we provide payment services to sustainable high-volume businesses. We show proactivity to transform complex processes into accessible solutions and know-how. Still looking for easy, efficient and transparent payments? Get in touch with us. 

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