Apple Pay vs. Samsung Pay – What's the difference?

September 30, 2015

Apple Pay vs. Samsung Pay

The mobile payment war between these two giant brands has begun. Both are competing for the title of Mobile Payment Champion in the eyes of the consumer. But what are the differences between these two opposing services?

Apple Pay

Initially released in the USA in October 2014 and then in the UK in July 2015, Apple Pay allows the customer to pay for an item at the checkout by using their NFC enabled mobile device. This currently includes iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4 and Apple Watch. It’s also worth noting that the device in question must be configured with iOS 8.1 or later in order for Apple Pay to function.
The customer can save a credit or debit card within the Wallet app within their device to be used next time they complete a purchase. The card terminal at the checkout must be enabled with contactless/NFC (Near Field Communication) technology.
Once the item has been totalled by the clerk, the customer can then hover their device over the card terminal whilst simultaneously touching their finger on the print recognition button to complete a purchase. It’s simple, fast and very secure – No card information is stored on the Apple device. Find out more about Apple Pay Here.

Apple Pay

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay was released in Korea on 20th August 2015 and in the USA on 28th September 2015. Its UK launch is yet to be confirmed but Samsung have stated that it will be in the very near future. It was revealed during the 2015 Samsung Keynote conference along with the latest handsets, the new Galaxy S6 edge+ and the Galaxy Note 5.
Much like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay will enable the customer to store a credit or debit card on their mobile device and use it to make a purchase at the checkout using NFC technology as well as fingerprint recognition. It’s security is also on par with Apple Pay – no information is stored on the device nor is it transferred to the retailer.

So what’s the difference between Apple Pay & Samsung Pay?

Apple Pay will only allow a customer to pay for goods via NFC technology whilst Samsung Pay has both NFC and MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) integrated within its new devices. This means that coverage for Samsung Pay will be greater than that of Apple Pay as card terminals with magnetic stripe readers will be able to accept Samsung Pay. This is a great addition for consumers within the USA and Asia where these types of machines are commonly used at the checkout. Card stripe readers are rarely used within UK. The number of consumers completing their transactions via contactless payment has greatly increased since it was first introduced in 2008. Surveys suggest that within the UK in 2014, £2.32 billion in transactions were processed via contactless terminals – this is a 255% increase on the previous year.
Samsung Pay’s unique selling proposition is coverage – This is the key marketing topic for their latest application. With the addition of MST technology, this new payment service has the potential to be very popular across the pond. When looking at these two payment services from the perspective of the UK, the security, functionality and usability that they both have to offer are equal. There is nothing additional that Samsung Pay has to offer that isn’t already available via Apple Pay.
Studies suggest that in 2015 45% of the mobile phone market use an iPhone whilst 32% use a Samsung handset. This means that merchants who do not have a contactless card terminal will still be able to offer MST stripe payments to their customers who are Samsung users. Merchants with contactless card terminals will be able to offer their customers with a choice to pay via either service thus capitalising on the full 77% of the current Apple and Samsung mobile phone market. (Reference:

The best of both worlds

At Chip & PIN Solutions, our range of contactless card terminals can cater for both Apple Pay and Samsung Pay services as the machines that we provide incorporate NFC technology as well as housing a magnetic stripe reader.
Decrease your chances of losing a sale at the checkout by offering your customer base with two additional ways to pay for their goods. See our great range of contactless terminals Here or contact our knowledgeable UK-based team today on 0808 301 7231.

Contactless card terminals from Chip & PIN Solutions