Money and making payments is no longer about having cash or cheques at hand. With modern day technology incorporated in more and more smartphones released annually, paying for goods and services has been significantly redefined. This is because most people are turning to their mobile phones for payments whether at stores or for online shopping.
Presently there are three major mobile payment systems leading in this sector. Though it’s hard to say which of these three has the largest number of consumers adopting their service, fact remains that mobile payments will dominate the future. While Apple Pay was the first to launch with commercial success, the Android platform’s Android Pay and Samsung Pay continue to see a huge growth and adoption among users. With this in mind, how do these three great payment systems compare in terms of advantages, and consumer needs?
Android Pay is a Google-established mobile payment systems with its roots originating from Google’s Google Wallet, a peer-to-peer payment service introduced in 2011. Android Pay was created as a result of Google’s acquisition of the Softcard company.
The Android Pay app which currently supports up to 70% of devices around, can be downloaded from the Play Store. To get is up and running once it’s installed on your Android device, all you need is to open an account or log-in to the app, then enter your credit card or any payment cards information as prompted. When all the necessary details are registered and stored on your Android device, you will now be able to use it to make payments at all sale terminals integrated with NFC or complemented with the Android Pay logo.
Android Pay also makes use of the fingerprint scanner to authorize payments within the app, for the purpose of enhancing its security. In case your device lacks this support, Android Pay alternatively uses a unique passcode for payment confirmations.
One notable disadvantage of Android Pay is that although it is compatible with most existing point of sale terminals with NFC, it lacks the same wide support for credit cards or even banks. This might be something that some folks consider a deal breaker. It is also worth mentioning that it is at the moment only available in the US, though it promises expansion later on this year.
The biggest rival to Android Pay, is Apple Pay which has also been credited by most as the original mobile payment system that has impacted the growth of the sector the most. Apple Pay was established back in 2014 and though it pretty much uses the same technologies and implementations as Android Pay, it has gained the widest adoption by consumers.
To work with contactless point of sale systems, Apple Pay takes advantage of NFC technologies to connect and exchange information.
The iOS Wallet app works simple, users only need to use their iPhone camera to capture their credit/debit card information. Once they have it stored on their iPhone, all they need to do is to place the iPhone close enough to a point of sale terminal to begin the payment process. The transaction process can then be authenticated through the TouchID fingerprint scanner on the iPhone.
One distinct advantage that Apple Pay has compared to its rivals, is that it is the only mobile payment system also offered through a smartwatch. Aside from users being able to make payments via their Apple Watch, they can also do it independent of their paired iPhone device.
In comparison to Android Pay, Apple Pay is almost similar in that it also works PoS terminals that are outfitted with NFC, though Android Pay offers better support and more access. On the other hand, Apple Pay has the advantage of supporting more banks, apps, credit cards, retailers as well as having a broader availability in other countries aside from the US, 6 in total, including the UK and China.
Yet another major mobile payment system is Samsung Pay. Similar to Android and Apple Pay, Samsung Pay works with NFC-based terminals. All you need is to simply place your Galaxy device in close proximity to a point of sale terminal which will initiate interaction between the two to complete the transaction process.
Where Samsung Pay stands out from its competitors, is that besides NFC, it offers an alternative Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) support. This involves a magnetic coil bundled within the Galaxy handset generating a unique magnetic field. The magnetic field mimics the magnetic strip embedded on credit/ debit cards, allowing your device to effectively work with conventional payment terminals, which store your payment data for only a short while.
As for how secure this is, MST works in a proximity that is as far as 3-inches. In addition, the payment details and transactions are secured through tokenization, which hides the card numbers by substituting them with unique encrypted alphanumeric identifiers.
The incorporation of MST expands the number of places that support Samsung Pay, especially because if the terminal lacks NFC support, it can instead resort to the MST contact method, which you’ll is what most traditional stores have. While Samsung Pay has an extensive number of banks, credit or debit cards, retailers under its support, it doesn’t support app purchases. What’s more, it is only available on the latest Galaxy handsets. As for regional support, it currently only accessible in US and South Korea.
Which mobile payment system do you currently make use of? Do you prefer the traditional way of making payments or are you satisfied with the direction the modern way of making payments is headed? Let us know in the comments.