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Samsung Pay vs. Apple Pay: Which is Better, Safer and More Flexible?

March 20
6:31 AM 2015

Apple and Samsung have been doing a head to head game in the lucrative smartphone competition. Samsung has just detailed its latest Samsung Pay following Apple Pay for wallet-free and card-free payment system. Here's how they differ.

In terms of hardware, Samsung Pay uses both wireless Near Field Communication (NFC) and traditional magnetic-striped credit card readers, though Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST). While NFC is older, both can be found in terminals and pay points.

Samsung Pay will be accepted in more shops and restaurants, which means 90 percent of them support at least one of these methods. Both NFC and MST employ debit and credit card details supported by Visa and MasterCard. Samsung tapped additional banks and credit companies.

Samsung Pay replaces sensitive card information with a safe sign for each payout to avoid fraud. To purchase, go to Samsung Pay app by swiping up the device's screen from the home button. Select a registered card to transfer cash. Authentication of the deal follows using fingerprint scanner, another security method to detect fraud.

The South Korean tech titan's latest acquisition LoopPay enables payers to pretend to a simple magnetic-striped card. Samsung Pay will be launching first in the United States and South Korea this summer for free through a software update to the Samsung's new flagship devices Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. China and Europe will follow. 

Considered supreme in payment mechanism, Apple Pay meanwhile continue to mark the line for victory as neither Samsung Pay nor Google Wallet (or the reported Android Pay) will crush them to the bottom. Apple has innovated its Apple Pay with embedded secure element, which means the credit card number needed in every transaction will be converted when paying so real information will never be detailed.

Like Samsung Pay, Apple Pay also works through NFC for transmission of data. Apparently, it has more support in stores and with banks. Touch ID fingerprint sensor is also used to authenticate the transaction.

However, Apple Pay requires special hardware for business establishments, which gives the edge to Samsung Pay. Apple Pay payments can only be done in traditional NFC reader-equipped retailers. Apple Pay currently works with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus for in-shop payments.

While both payment systems are supported by Visa and MasterCard and other debit and credit card companies, Apple has a step advantage over Samsung since it is supported by 90 banks. Samsung has not announced how many will be supporting them. However, with regards to retail support, Apple Pay has around 220,000 accredited shops in the United States, while Samsung, with the acquired LoopPay, can potentially exceed Apple by authorizing 90 percent of all point-of-sale terminals here.

Payment apps on mobile phones have just started to make war. More tech firms have resorted to this method because of its secure storage of debit and card transactions on phones, making payment possible by holding phone and swiping it to a retailer's payment point.

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