In this quickstart you will walk through acquiring an Apple Pay token, creating a Circle payment token, and making a payment.

# 1. Get an API key

The Circle Payments API uses API keys as the mechanism to authenticate client requests. The API key must be set in the `Authorization` header of the request sent from your backend server. The format of the header is `Bearer secret-key-value`.

[Learn more about authenticating API calls here](🔗).

To obtain an API key for the sandbox environment, simply create an account and generate a new key in settings - it only takes a few seconds.

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Once you have generated your API key, record it in a secure place.

# 2. Acquire Apple Pay Token Data

For the quickstart we recommend acquiring the Apple Pay token from our [sample app](🔗) that provides a simple way to generate a token without any setup. To acquire an Apple Pay token from Apple please see [Apple Pay Setup](🔗) section.

# 3. Create Payment Token

Once you have acquired the Apple Pay token data you can then create a one time use payment token by creating a payment token `POST: /v1/paymentToken`.

# 4. Create Payment

[Create a payment](🔗) with the payment token ID acquired in the response from step 3.

# 5. Check the status of your Apple payment

Now make an API call to retrieve the status of your card payment using the [get payment endpoint](🔗). Use your API key from step 1 and the payment identifier you obtained on step 3.

You should receive a response such as below.

🎉 You are all done!

Your payment will eventually change its `status` from `confirmed` to `paid` - at that point you have funds in your account available for use.

# 5. Like what you see? Keep going!

By accepting a card payment that settles in USDC, you have just touched the tip of the iceberg of [Circle APIs](🔗).

Make sure you read the longer form guide on [accepting payments online](🔗). Check how to [subscribe to notifications on changes in payments status](🔗). Also make sure you check the rest of the documentation - a few starting points are suggested below.

# 6. Ready for the next step?

If you are in advanced stages of experimenting with our APIs and want to plan moving to production, please start by [applying for a Circle Account](🔗) and subsequently [reach out to sales](🔗). We'll be happy to walk you through to the next steps.

We can't wait to see what you are going to build!