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Google Pay vs. Samsung Pay vs. Apple Pay

Updated on Jul 10, 2020
Apple pay

Mobile wallets are virtual wallets also known as "e-Wallets" that allow one party to make electronic payment transactions with another party bartering digital currency units for goods and services. 

It works like a regular physical wallet plus with add on benefits. The convenience of mobile wallets has been the dominant reason why many people opted for them before the Coronavirus pandemic. As the world quickly learned about the increasing health risk of being in close contact and contaminated surfaces, contactless payments have seen a sharp increase.

What is Google Pay? 

Google Pay is Google’s mobile wallet. An online payment system developed by Google to power in-app, online payments, and tap-to-pay purchases on mobile devices. 

How does Google Pay work? 

  1. Download the Google Pay app
  2. Add the cards or PayPal details you want to use to fund payments
  3. Pay with just a tap from your electronic device: mobile, tablet, watches, etc

What is Samsung Pay? 

Samsung Pay is Samsung’s mobile wallet. An online payment system developed by Samsung to power in-app, online payments, and tap-to-pay purchases on mobile devices.

How to use  Samsung Pay?

Samsung Pay works in a similar way to Google Pay. Here are the steps:

  1. First, download the app
  2. Confirm all your security details
  3. Add the cards and PayPal details to fund your payments
  4. You are ready to shop! 

What is Android Pay?

Android Pay is the older version of Google’s mobile wallet before it was renamed to Google Pay. Google Pay is a stronger suite created by bringing together Android Pay, primarily for in-app purchases and Google Wallet, primarily for in-store transactions and peer to peer transfers. Android Pay no longer exists as a service. Any Android Pay service offering would redirect you to Google Pay.

What is Apple Pay? 

Apple Pay is the mobile payment and digital wallet service by Apple Inc. Apple Pay works in a similar way to both Samsung Pay and Google Pay, making it easy to make contactless payments through their iOS apps and on the web supported on the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac.

How to set up Apple Pay on the Apple Watch?

Here are the steps to set up Apple Pay on Apple Watch: 

  • Open the Watch app on your iPhone
  • Go to My Watch tab
  • Scroll down to Wallet & Apple Pay
  • Tap Add Card and get it verified 
  • You are ready to shop!

Google pay vs. Samsung Pay vs. Apple Pay

Mobile wallets

We are going to cover 4 main factors to make the comparison: Security, Limit, Availability, Money transfer

Security 

When it comes to security, neither of the companies have compromised. Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay are secure ways to make payments. One security technology that is a common denominator is encryption and tokenization. So, even though all the platforms have access to your financial information, it is never shared. 

Ensure that you do not share your card number or passcode with anyone or store anyone else’s Face ID or fingerprint. Here are some more tips to protect yourself from financial scams. 

Limits 

There are no pre-set limits for Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay. However, the merchants can set limits depending on their average unit price. 

The popular limitation of Google Pay vs Samsung Pay argument is that Samsung Pay has both magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology and near-field communication (NFC) technology whereas Google Pay only supports NFC technology.

NFC functionality is the technology that powers contactless payments and MST functionality is that of a card reader, which picks up the signal from a credit card’s magnetic strip. This is an advantage for Samsung Pay because you can use your mobile wallet, wherever there is a credit card machine in the absence of a contactless card machine. The only limitation is that you need to own a Samsung device to be a Samsung pay user like only Apple users can be Apple Pay users. 

Availability 

Apple Pay: It is available in 60 countries. In China mainland, you can use Apple Pay on the web in Safari only on compatible models using iOS 11.2 or later. Learn more about the countries and the participating banks here.  

Samsung Pay: It is available in 24 countries. Although Samsung Pay can be used wherever payment cards are accepted, it will work only with cards from participating banks and compatible electronic payment terminals offering swipe-based or contactless payment.

Google Pay: It is available in close to 28 countries. There is no straightforward answer to this for Google because it depends on what kind of services you are looking to pay for. If it is for Google’s products, it is available in all the countries it operates in. If it is to pay for travel by train and bus, the services of Google pay is limited to Canada, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

In terms of availability, Apple Pay is a clear winner. And for an Android device user, Google Pay is a better alternative. 

Money Transfer 

We will further divide this into Peer-to-peer payments and International money transfer 

Peer-to-peer- payments 

Apple Pay and Google Pay are the only two services that let you make peer-to-peer payments to send money to your friends and family domestically. Samsung Pay does not currently have a peer-to-peer option yet. 

Apple Pay services to send and receive money provided by Green Dot Bank and you must be at least 18 years old and a resident of the United States. Google’s money transfer option is limited to the US and India.

International Money transfer 

Samsung Pay is the only Mobile Payment company that offers international payment service. It lets you send an international money transfer from within your Samsung Pay app using your personal debit card or credit card linked to your digital wallet, and delivers the money to your recipient's bank account or to cash pick up locations in nearly 50 countries including the top remittance-receiving countries such as; India, Mexico, and the Philippines. 

You can use the International Money transfer service of Samsung Pay if you fulfill the following conditions:

  • You are a U.S resident or citizen 
  • You have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) 
  • You have a valid U.S address

While Samsung has a clear advantage if you want your mobile wallet to be your one-stop-shop for all your digital payments and you are someone who needs to make international money transfers regularly. However, there are many convenient and online alternatives to international money transfer that offer high exchange rates, low transfer fees, and fast speed of transfer provided by companies whose purpose of existence is to make international money transfer easier, cheaper and faster. 

The international money transfer service of Samsung Pay rides on another remittance service provider called Travelex. The capabilities and limitations of Travelex will apply for Samsung Pay’s International Money transfer service. So, we recommend comparing the top money transfer service providers for free next to each other on CompareRemit before making an international money transfer online. 

In conclusion, All mobile wallets essentially do the same thing, which is to enable contactless payments by building a bridge between your banking service provider and merchants. While your choice amongst the three most popular mobile wallets depends on the devices you own and your lifestyle needs. If you already own a particular device that limits your option, we do not see the need to make an additional investment just for a mobile wallet.

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