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Samsung Pay v/s Apple Pay: Fight for Smart Payments

When it comes to digital transaction systems, the arrival of the giants has become an ultimate game changer. What used to be a market for entrepreneurs and tech startups, has now become a multi billion dollar industry with all the MNCs striving to get a good chunk of shares in it.

Samsung Pay and Apple Pay are both similar sounding, similar functioning payment and wallet system. The former, being a recent global launch (though was introduced in 2015) has been creating quite a news for its compatibility and payment options.  

They are designed to buy items easily by rather than using your physical wallet to replace with the digital versions of your credit and debit cards.

Apple Pay introduced back in 2014 and it’s been the widest adoption among consumers. Apple Pay includes the near communication field (NFC) to securely transmit the payment information and also it is the largest collection to maintain credit or debit cards, apps, banks and retailers. Whereas Samsung Pay also works with NFC terminal just as Apple Pay, but its unique feature is that it otherwise provides Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) in which a magnetic coil is embedded inside of the Samsung Galaxy device make a dynamic magnetic field and that magnetic field let it to work with usual credit or debit card terminals that include your payment information for a short time period.

Few important points that differentiate between Apple pay and Samsung Pay:

  1. Compatibility:

Samsung Pay: This service is currently not available on all Samsung smart phones, but Samsung pay works with selected models of company line of Galaxy smart phones; Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung Galaxy A7, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and Samsung Galaxy A5. Samsung Pay works on the Gear S3  and Gear 2 for users with a Samsung phone but not for iPhone users. In December 2016, Samsung tried to launch a Samsung Pay Mini app in the App Store likely to open up the compatibility for Samsung Pay with the iPhone but Apple Company rejected it.

Apple Pay: Apple Pay works on the iPhone6 and iPhone6 plus (and later) and Apple Watch as these are the first two phones in where Apple Pay was lined up to include NFC as well as a Secure payment information on the device.

  1. Banks:

Apple Pay: Apple Pay started securing with first the American Express and afterwards it was managed by various major local banks like OCBC, DBS / POSB, UOB, Standard Chartered and Citibank on board too. Supported Banks are around 1199 in US for Apple. Since, its launch, Apple Pay has been aggressively promoted by banks, too such as this advertisement. 

Samsung Pay: On other side Samsung is also managed by the banks such as Citibank and other supported banks DBS / POSB, OCBC, and Standard Chartered. As of now, 133 banks support Samsung Pay in the US. 

3. Security:

Security is a very important feature for every customer after adoption mobile payment options.

Samsung Pay: It has great security features that include the fingerprint verification without the use of any complex password, Digital tokenization where, all transactions use a random token rather than the card number that means the real card information is not shared while paying and data stay safe and Samsung Knox, the phone is constantly monitored for its weakness, even if the phone is a compromise the card data is still safely encrypted within a separate data vault.

Apple Pay: Apple’s Secure Element is same as Samsung pay using Touch ID which requires fingerprint at the time of each transaction.

4. Transaction data:

Use of mobile phones is increasing day by day thus it is important that service providers such as Apple and Samsung step carefully with the tracking/ location and phone data usage habits.
Samsung Pay: Talking about the transaction data on Samsung’s tracking and storing data is still unclear.

Apple Pay: Apple stated during its launch that the company does not track or store your purchase data and nor does it supply retailers with that data. Even the demonstration video by Apple shown above details about how Apple cares about the privacy for its users when it comes to digital payments. 

5. Retailers:

Apple Pay: There are around 220,000 retailers that are well-suited using Apple Pay which includes the stores, such as McDonald’s, Whole Foods, Walgreens, Staples and the Disney Store. As the transactions and services require an NFC payment terminal which is included in Apple Pay. Retailers are around 22.

Samsung Pay: Whereas, Samsung Pay supports both NFC and traditional magnetic payment terminals (MST). Upcoming retailers are around 101. The major benefit Samsung Pay is that it applies to both MST and NFC payment which is is getting retailers to realize that they can accept the new mobile payment system easily.

Future of Payments

Samsung Pay v/s Apple Pay is just a beginning of the rivalry of tech giants in the fintech sector. These payment systems are continuously being improved.  Now suited only to authenticated credit and debit cards, these payment systems need to evolve to being peer2peer and be ready for quick and hurdleless payments. As a threat, Facebook’s WhatsApp has already jumped into P2P payments business. Establishing supremacy wouldn’t be difficult for it as it already has a lot of users globally and is widely supported on Apple as well as Android phones.

Final Words

In past two years there is a peak in mobile online payments as the apps are now here, various banks are supporting but one which is missing is the retailers. In 2017, we hope that most US retailers will look forward to set up new NFC terminals and we will see cashiers getting familiar with people paying with their phones. Even the mobile payment systems are finally entering the market outside the US and now available in many countries.

If we talk about Samsung Pay and Apple Pay, Samsung player is being the toughest competitor of Apple Company by developing its own mobile payment system. Based on the above article, nobody wins the battle, but Samsung Pay is just slightly in the lead right now.