Apple Pay vs Google Pay vs Samsung Pay Mobile Payments Compared

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Apple Pay vs Google Pay vs Samsung Pay Mobile Payments Compared

Are they ready to replace your wallet? We put all three through some tests to find out which mobile payment system is best.Mobile payments could soon make your wallet obsolete by allowing you to pay with just the tap of your phone or smartwatch. But they’ve had a slow roll-out and not all options are made equal. The three most established systems are from Apple, Samsung and Google, although some wearables from brands such as Garmin and Fitbit also offer their own payment systems. So how do Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay compare, and which one is more widely accepted right no

MOBILE PAYMENTS COMPARISON

Samsung Pay Apple Pay Google Pay
Compatible devices Samsung Galaxy phones since the Galaxy Note 5, Gear Watch and Gear Watch Active, Gear S2 and S3 Apple iPhones since the SE, Apple Watch, MacBook Pro with TouchID, iPads since 5th generation, iPad Pro and iPad Mini Android phones with NFC and HCE support running KitKat (4.4) or higher
Availability (see note below) 24 countries worldwide 41 countries worldwide 29 countries worldwide
Authentication Fingerprint, PIN or iris FaceID or fingerprint Fingerprint, PIN, pattern or password
Where can you use? Works with NFC, magnetic stripe or EMV terminals, in-app purchases Works with NFC terminals, in-app purchases and web purchases in Safari Works with NFC terminals, in-app and web purchases
Cards Credit, debit, loyalty and gift cards Credit, debit and loyalty cards Credit, debit, loyalty and gift cards
Which banks? Wide variety of banks: full list here; PayPal Wide variety of banks: full list here Wide variety of banks: full list here; PayPal

With regards to availability, once you’ve added your cards to one of these mobile wallets you should be able to use them in any country that accepts contactless payments, as long as you would normally be able to use your physical card in that location. In the case of Samsung Pay, that also includes any terminal with a magnetic card reader.

Technology and availability

Apple Pay and Google Pay use NFC, or near-field communication, to power contactless payments. Just tap your phone to a compatible terminal and the transaction is complete.

Samsung Pay uses NFC and a technology called magnetic secure transmission (MST). When you hold the phone against any terminal, it emits a signal that simulates the magnetic strip on a card.

This means it works with pretty much all terminals, without the merchant having to update their point of sale systems. The one situation where MST won’t work is when you need to insert a card into a slot, like at a gas station.

Offline payments are also supported on all three platforms, so you can make a limited number of transactions if you have no cell or Wi-Fi signal.

You are also able to use these mobile wallets to tap and go on public transit systems in various cities around the world.

Advantage: Samsung Pay

Security

Mobile payment systems use a method called tokenization to keep card details secure. Once you add your cards to the app, it generates a virtual account number and your real card number is never given to the merchant. When you tap your phone to make a payment, it sends the tokenized card number and a cryptogram that acts like a password. The card network then verifies and processes the payment.

Apple requires you to authenticate using TouchID (fingerprint), FaceID or PIN before a payment can go through.

Samsung requires an iris scan, fingerprint or PIN to confirm purchases.

But Google Pay only needs your phone to be unlocked with fingerprint, password, pattern or PIN before transactions can go through.

If you lose your phone, all three allow you to remotely wipe the device which will also remove all your card details.

United States Cautions Britain Over Huawei

Which one wins?

Ultimately, choosing one of these payment systems is tied to your ecosystem and availability in your location. For Apple users, your only choice in the real world is Apple Pay, while Android users must use Google Pay. Samsung owners can choose between Samsung Pay or Google Pay — you can have both on your phone, but you will need to set one as the default and change that setting if you want to use the other.

https://www.cnet.com

For sheer compatibility across the widest range of terminals, Samsung Pay wins because of MST technology. But paying in supported apps and websites is most seamless with Apple Pay, and Google Pay offers the most flexible way to pay friends, regardless of what phone they use.

Editors’ note: This article was previously published on June 12, 2018. It is consistently updated with new information.

Apple Pay vs Google Pay vs Samsung Pay Mobile Payments Compared

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