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How will Samsung Pay compare to Apple Pay?

Michael Simon | March 5, 2015
Besides its catchy name, of course!

Is it secure? Is it private?
Samsung Pay is as secure as Apple Pay. Cards are locked until your fingerprint opens them up, and credit card information is stored and transmitted as encrypted tokens that ensure your card data can't be hacked or breached. Samsung is also taking Apple's approach to privacy--the comapny won't collect data on where users shop or what they spend.

Does it actually work?
We won't fully be able to answer that question until the phones go on sale April 10, but based on early hands-on experiences, the fingerprint reader and software is as slick as Apple's. Our sister site Greenbot recently compared the experience of using LoopPay versus Google Wallet for wireless payments on an Android phone, and LoopPay--the technology Samsung bought--won by a landslide.

Can I use it with older Galaxy phones?
Just like Apple Pay only works with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (and coming soon, the Apple Watch), Samsung Pay is a feature tied to the Galaxy 6 and Galaxy 6 Edge.

Really, it's called Samsung Pay?
Yes, it is. Let's move on.

Does Samsung Pay work within apps?
Apple Pay's most underrated features it its ability to work for online purchases on our iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3, but Samsung hasn't said whether its system will be able to work with its own apps or those purchased through the Google Play store.

Who's on board?
Apple Pay already works with nearly 100 financial institutions, and it remains to be seen how fast Samsung can convince them to sign on to support Samsung Pay. The company announced partnerships with JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citi, and US Bank, as well as MasterCard and Visa, but it has a long way to go to catch up with Apple Pay.

Will it work with the Galaxy Gear?
Presumable Samsung Pay will work with the next version of the Galaxy Gear, but Samsung didn't have anything to announce about its watches at MWC. In the meantime, if you're keen on buying stuff using your wrist, Apple Watch is your only option.

How will Apple respond?
Short answer, it might not even have to. LoopPay's MST technology might be yesterday's news before Samsung Pay even gets off the ground. The federal government is requiring retail outlets to adopt fancy new NFC-equipped Europay, MasterCard and Visa terminals by October, which would all but neutralize Samsung's advantage.

What does this mean for Apple Pay?
That's the billion-dollar question. Apple Pay is off to a rolling start, thanks in large part to Apple's marketing efforts and brisk sales of the iPhone 6, and it seems as though digital, contact less payments are on the verge of becoming somewhat mainstream. Even if Samsung sells as many phones as Apple did (which, let's face it, is unlikely), it certainly won't hurt Apple Pay's expansion. If anything, it'll help--the more people use phones to pay for things, no matter if it's through Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Google Wallet, it puts more pressure on stores and banks to support the concept. And that's good for everyone.


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