The world is changing fast. The number of digital forms of payment systems is on the rise. These forms of payments have similarities and differences that can get the users confused. Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, all come with pluses and minuses.
The mobile payments are clearly the step forwards and the time has come to compare the top mobile payment providers on the market in 2015. Let’s begin, in alphabetical order top 3 mobile payments in the world:
Technology – NFC. Token-based system that protects user data during transactions.
How Does It Work – Stores any debit/credit card informations (take a photo of the card, that’s all) and allows quick payments at pre-enrolled point-of-sale as well as within certain apps. When you want to buy something in a supported story, simply tap on your smartphone and pay.
Devices Supported: All smartphones NFC compatible to start with and soon all Android Wear smartwatches, NFC enabled.
Pros/Cons: Android Pay’s ability to work across any NFC compatible-Android OS based devices is a big advantage over both, Samsung and Apple Pay and their limitations to iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 range, precisely.
Technology – NFC with unique dynamic security codes, generated for each transaction. This is called tokenised transactions where no traceable plastic card details are stored by Apple or the retailer.
How Does It Work – Scan or enter your “plastics” information on an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus via Apple Passbook app. Just like Android and Samsung Pay, the cards must be pre-loaded into your smartphone. To pay, simply wave your iPhone over the payment terminal then authorise the payment via fingerprint scanner. Same with the Apple Watch, just wave it over the payment terminal.
Devices Supported: On iPhone 6/6 Plus and Apple Watch for in-store use, iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 for online purchases.
Pros/Cons: The number of enrolled retailers to Apple Pay grew from 220,000 in October 2014 to 900,000 this month. When Apple Watch will work with older versions of iPhones the Apple Pay market will grow even bigger, however you’ll need the mobile or it won’t work independently as it does with all iPhones 6 up. Another big miss here is the lack of loyalty cards integration that’s already making Android Pay a winner.
Technology: Proprietary MST technology, the short for “Magnetic Secure Transmission” and NFC. Making Samsung compatible not only with card machines that have a magnetic strip reader but with any old or modern card readers.
How Does It Work – Load up your Samsung Pay with your plastic cards. Same as Android Pay, just take a photo. Select the card you want to pay with, tap the phone to the NFC terminal and approve the transaction via the Galaxy S6’s fingerprint sensor. Same for the MST transactions: hold your phone against the payment terminal, where the cashier would normally slide your card. Done.
Devices Supported: Only latest Samsung smartphones: Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and the new Galaxy Note 5. Also, latest Samsung smartwatch, the Gear S2 range.
Pros/Cons: Both MST and NFC technologies are making Samsung compatible not only with card machines that have a magnetic strip reader but with any old or modern card readers. Sadly, Samsung Pay works only with the new Samsung Galaxy S6-series smartphones as well as the Galaxy Note 5, at least at first.
Samsung Pay and Apple Pay are both complete apps-services systems where Android Pay is a framework for apps to be build on the top of it. Like a construction site, the water, electric, heating, roads infrastructure is already there, you now have the infrastructure ready to build houses on the top of it.
Another difference between Apple Pay, Samsung and Android Pay is the operating system of the device it runs on. If you have an iPhone, it obviously runs on iOS. If you have an android smartphone, (Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony, etc) your smartphone will be Android OS powered.
Apple Pay and Samsung Pay are already smartwatch compatible. Apple Pay works only with Apple Watch and Samsung Pay only with the latest generation of Samsung Gear S2. Android Pay is not not yet available on Android Wear OS for smartwatches but only on smartphones.
And The Winner Is…
Unlock your smartphone – or smartwatch in Apple and Samsung’s cases – and pay by holding it next to the card reader, just as you do with the contactless credit or debit cards. But from all above, Android Pay is the fastest.
Faster than a hit or miss swipe, faster than the drag of finger on the fingerprint scanner, faster than “Let me try again” message when the fingerprint sensor fails. And on my iPhone 6 Plus it fails a lot.
The no need for fingerprint scanners but just a tap and pay is a massive bonus for Android Pay. But for that, the lock-screen on your smartphone must be enabled. On iPhone, when you disable the password-protected lock-screen, the credit cards are automatically erased.
It is a requirement of Apple Pay for Apple Watch. It is for security purposes but in reality it is just annoying. If you disable lock-screen pass you have to re-authenticate the cards all over again.
Android Pay has more compatible smartphones than both, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay together. How come? Samsung and Apple support just the latest generation of their smartphones.
Even thou’ we are inclined to choose Android Pay as the winner of the three, in reality, the payment system you are going to use is determined by the smartphone and the system you already use.