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Apple Pay vs. Samsung Pay – The Battle for Mobile Payments

Apple Pay is currently available and very popular in the US, but it seems that Samsung wants to join the market with its Samsung Pay.

Mobile payments have existed on the market for quite a while, but Apple’s Pay and iPhone’s Touch ID sensor have changed a few things. Apple is known as a company which can create global trends in a very short time, making billion of dollars with one single feature.

In addition, Apple has confirmed that the owners of older iPhone devices such as the iPhone5, iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C will also be able to access the Apple Pay service as long as they will have an Apple Watch. This is another clever move that Apple has made and we’re sure that they will sell many smartwatches just because the owners of the three devices we’ve mentioned above want to access the Apple Pay service.

First of all, you will need to understand how Apple Pay and Samsung Pay work. Both services use a tokenization process that will store your debit and credit cards in your phone. This keeps the card numbers private and, instead, it will send a digital ID to the merchant’s terminal. This means that by using this token, you are sure that no one can lift your card details during the transfer. The tokenization system in both the Apple Pay and Samsung Pay platforms is the MasterCard’s Mobile Digital Enablement System (also known as MDES).

In addition, the tokenization of both the Apple Pay and Samsung pay will require you to confirm during any payment procedure by using the fingerprint identification. The biometric ID will make sure that your device knows that you’re about to make the transaction and not someone else. On the iPhone you will need to use Apple’s Touch ID and on Samsung’s Galaxy S6 you will need to use the new improved fingerprint reader.

However, when it comes to how these two systems are transferring your card details, things are a bit different. As expected, both systems are using the NFC support, but Samsung Pay comes with an additional support which is called Magnetic Secure Transmission (also known as MTS). If MTS rings a bell to you, then that’s because this is the similar system allowing credit and debit cards to transfer your data and it has been used for quite a while (via magnetic stripe swipes).

Apple Pay vs. Samsung Pay 2

So, any Samsung device that supports the Samsung Pay service has a special wire inside it which allows the device to send a MTS transmission to any magnetic card reader. If we’ve made you think that you’re going to swipe your phone, then we assure you that you will not have to do this and, instead, you will just hold your device near the magnetic card reader and the MTS wire that’s inside the device will transfer the data just as the magnetic strip that’s on the back of your credit card.

Supported Devices

When it comes to terminal payments, the iPhone and iPhone 6 Plus are the only devices which support the Apple Pay feature. However, the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 devices are supporting it too for purchases within applications. As we’ve told you above, Apple Pay will also be supported by older iPhone devices as long as they are connected to an Apple Watch. On the other hand, the Samsung Pay is only supported by the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge devices.

Supported Credit Cards, Banks and Merchants

Apple Pay and Samsung Pay are supported by the biggest card issuers such as American Express, Mastercard and Visa. Currently, there are over 90 banks that support Apple Pay. In addition, Apple Pay has a slight advantage here, as there are big banks such as Capitan One and Chase support it along with other small and local banks.

When Samsung Pay was released this summer, it was supported only by some bigger banks such as Bank of America and Chase, but is expected to be supported by more banks in the near future.

When it comes to supporter merchants, Samsung Pay will have an advantage because it supports MTS. We remind you that NFC is still a new technology for many merchants and they don’t have the terminals that support it. However, almost any merchant supports MST, which is a big plus for the Samsung Pay service.

Currently, Apple Pay is supported by over 200.000 stores in the US, including well known stores such as Subway, Walgreens, McDonald’s and more. Samsung Pay will most likely be supported by all the stores which already accept Apple Pay payments, but it will also be supported by millions of other stores that still use MST terminals. However, in a few years, this will not matter anymore, because many merchants will switch from the MST terminals to the NFS ones.

Are you using Apple Pay or Samsung Pay? Tell us your thoughts about these two mobile payment services!

Costea Lestoc
Costea Lestoc
I began writing as a professional on my personal blog and then discovered my true calling, which is writing about SEO, technology and gadgets in general. I am a technical writer, author and blogger since 2005. An industry watcher that stays on top of the latest features, extremely passionate about juicy tech news and everything related to gadgets.


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