I love my 2020 MacBook Air and have had very few issues with it, except that I couldn’t get it to work with Apple Pay. Transactions would fail, and it wasn’t clear why. For months I just lived with it and used alternate ways of paying for things.
But man, I missed the convenience of Apple Pay, which worked fine on my much older machine. (This was my first Mac with Touch ID, which is relevant.)
Checking the Wallet & Apple Pay pane in System Preferences showed my credit cards were there but disabled. It pointed me to this page at Apple:
Had my security settings been modified? No idea.
That page pointed me to this one:
It seemed that maybe I needed to boot into Recovery Mode and use the Startup Security Utility to set my Mac to a higher security threshold.
The article said you get to Recovery Mode by booting while holding down Command-R. But on the new M1 Macs, instead you hold down the power (Touch ID) button instead. This tripped me up for a few minutes.
In Recovery Mode, it was clear that all my system settings were fine.
Here’s what ultimately worked: Deleting the credit cards in Wallet & Apple Pay, then re-adding them. After that, transactions worked great.
My hunch is that the credit cards were imported when I set up this Mac but not properly authorized. Apple should change the language of the warnings or link to a better explanation.
In the meantime, hopefully this writeup has saved you some hassle.