3. Is Samsung Pay better than Apple Pay?
The fanboy in us will always ask this question but I am not inclined to pick sides, at least not publically.
But here are a few figures to get the debate warmed up.
Apple Pay already has more than twice as many users as Samsung Pay and is available in more countries too. But the gap in the list of countries is decreasing quickly and Samsung Pay is experiencing a higher percentage growth in acquiring registered users.
So here’s the part that really matters. Apple Pay will be successful and whether you use an iPhone or not, you should generally celebrate this news because it will boost the virtual wallet industry as a whole.
The inevitable success of Apple Pay will encourage increasing number of outlets to arm themselves with contactless payment facility. This growth will actually help Android Pay, Samsung Pay and other bank-agnostic digital wallet companies too.
Currently Samsung Pay has two clear advantages over Apple Pay and Android Pay:
- It does not have the limitation of working only with NFC. It also works with normal magnetic credit card machines. So it will instantly have a broader reach on the day of its launch, in any country.
- NFC payments are usually limited to 100 dollars per transaction. This amount could be slightly different for different countries but the absolute value is about that much.
I suspect these advantages will be short-lived. Within a couple of years, most outlets will start carrying NFC pay options and Apple Pay is already working with its partners to remove the 100 dollar limit.
So the Apple Pay vs Samsung Pay question is a lot of like the iOS vs Android question, with potentially the same answer. One doesn’t have to be better than the other. They have to provide customers with two equally good options to chose from. And they do!
Samsung Pay makes sure that the dream of a good digital wallet will not remain exclusive to the walled gardens of the Apple ecosystem.
The real advantage of Samsung Pay will be within the realm of Android users.
So far, if you wanted an Android phone, it didn’t much matter which brand you chose. The decision was mostly based on hardware specs and price. If Samsung Pay is more successful than Android Pay, which I suspect it will be, Samsung will give users a legitimate reason to chose their phones over countless others.