From the blog Mobile Pay Apps: Apple Pay vs Samsung Pay vs Google Pay

The physical wallet is quickly becoming a relic. It’s not always necessary now to carry around cash or a credit card to make a purchase. With mobile payment apps, your smartphone or smartwatch is all you need.

These apps allow you to store debit or credit card information on your device. If you’re shopping at a store with a mobile payment reader, you can scan your device at the point-of-sale terminal and pay digitally. Meaning, you can still use your American Express Credit Card, or any other card of your choice, without having to have the physical card on your person.

Newer point of sale (POS) systems like Talus Pay easily accept mobile payments. You can check out how the Talus Pay POS system works here.

NFC, or near-field communication, is the technology that makes wireless mobile payment possible. Payment apps are compatible with any merchant terminal that supports NFC.
But some, such as Samsung Pay, also support older MST or magnetic-stripe retail terminal payments.

From a security standpoint, they all use tokenization to keep card data secure. Instead of storing your credit card information, the app generates a virtual account number and a dynamic security code for every transaction you make. The merchant never receives your real credit card number.

Mobile payment options are quickly becoming a popular payment method. Currently, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay are three of the biggest players in the space.

Here’s how they stack up:

Apple Pay Samsung Pay Google Pay
Where it Wins Versatility Availability Peer-to-Peer Payments
Supported Devices iPhone 6 and up, iPad mini 3 and up, Apple Watch 1st generation and up, Mac models with Touch ID, Mac models introduced in 2012 or later with an Apple Pay-enabled iPhone or Apple Watch All Galaxy devices, Gear Sport, Gear S3 Classic, Gear S3 Frontier, Gear S2 Classic, Gear S2 Sport All NFC-enabled Android devices running Lollipop (5.0) or higher
Accepted Locations 4 million 30 million 1.5 million
Security Tokenization Tokenization Tokenization
Best For Apple users Samsung users Android users

Apple Pay

What it is: Apple Pay debuted in 2014 as a proprietary mobile payment system for iOS. It can be used to make in-store purchases, buy apps and make transactions on the web. You can also send and receive money from family and friends.

Devices: You can use Apple Pay on iPhone model 6 and up, iPad models and all Apple Watch models. It can also be used on Mac models with Touch ID or models introduced in 2012 or later with an Apple Pay-enabled iPhone or Apple Watch.

Security: Apple Pay, like other mobile payment apps, uses a token system, which generates virtual account numbers and a unique dynamic security code for each transaction. Your card numbers are never stored by the retailer or by Apple. Transactions are authorized by Face ID, Touch ID or PIN for additional security.

Where it works: Millions of stores accept Apple Pay, including companies like GAP, Panera Bread, Starbucks and Trader Joe’s. It works with hundreds of banks and payment providers.

Where it wins out: Versatility is where Apple Pay really shines. The app supports online purchases through the Safari browser. It can also be used on Macs equipped with Touch ID.

Who it’s best for: Apple users, specifically iPhone and Apple Watch users, will benefit most from Apple Pay. If you’re thinking about using a mobile payment app, and you want an app that is built to integrate with the technology you use, Apple Pay is worth a try.

Samsung Pay

What it is: Samsung Pay is the primary mobile payment app for Samsung Galaxy products and some Samsung wearables. Samsung says it can be used “virtually anywhere you can swipe or tap your card,” making it more widely accepted than its competitors.

Devices: Samsung Pay can currently be used with all Galaxy devices and wearables, including the Gear S2 Sport, Gear S2 Classic, Gear S3 Classic, Gear Sport and Galaxy Watch.

Security: Samsung Pay uses a token system for transactions, like Apply Pay. It requires an iris scan, fingerprint or PIN to make a purchase.

Where it works: The Visa, American Express, Mastercard and Discover payment networks have partnered with Samsung Pay. It works at nearly all retail locations with either an NFC or MST merchant terminal.

Where it wins out: Accepting both NFC and magnetic strip pay, Samsung is a clear winner in the availability category. It works at pretty much any payment terminal.

Who it’s best for: Samsung users, specifically those with a Galaxy product or Samsung wearables, will benefit most from Samsung Pay. But it’s also a good choice for those who want the convenience of being able to pay at nearly any store.

Google Pay

What it is: Formerly known as Android Pay, Google Pay is the primary mobile payment app for Android devices. It can be used to pay for items at merchant terminals that support NFC and to make peer-to-peer payments.

Devices: Google Pay can be used with any device that’s running Android Lollipop (5.0) or higher.

Security: Like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, Google Pay uses a token system for security. When you pay in the store, Google Pay doesn’t share your actual card info. It instead uses a unique encrypted number. If you lose your phone, you can remotely find, lock or erase your information.

Where it Works: Google pay is accepted at millions of retailers, including Whole Foods, Airbnb, Trader Joe’s and Fandango. It works with hundreds of banks and payment providers.

Where it Wins: Google Pay truly stands out in the peer-to-peer payment category. It allows you to send money to any number or email address on iOS or Android. Apple Pay Cash only works with Apple iOS devices. And Samsung doesn’t offer the ability to pay friends.

Who it’s Best For: Users of any Android device will find Google Pay the most useful. Android users who want the ability to pay with their device and send money to friends and family may want to consider Google Pay.

The Bottom Line

In today’s competitive world, it’s important to be able to accept payments from your customers – no matter how they want to pay! Don’t risk missing a sale because you’re not set up to accept mobile payment applications.

Interested in finding a POS system for your business that accepts mobile payments? Contact us today.

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