Mobile payments are one of the most exciting new developments in technology, and the market is expanding faster than ever before with retailers as well as consumers. These services are intended as an alternative to carrying a physical credit card, as the user enters the payment information into the mobile payments system. The method of payment is then charged whenever a purchase is made with the device.
Two of the most widely used contactless payment services are Apple Pay and Google, both of which work in conjunction with a credit card to allow users to make payments using their Android or iOS device. While Apple Pay and Google Wallet have slightly different strengths, they both share advantages over physical debit cards. One of these is the obvious convenience benefits, as a user only needs to carry their smartphone to make purchases instead of a wallet or purse. Read more about the sim only phone plans at iiNet.
Another positive aspect is that mobile payments make it unnecessary for a retailer to have access to your card number or other financial information, decreasing the chance of being victimized when a retailer’s security is compromised. Overall, the two services are similar in concept, but there are a few key differences to note when deciding which of them is for you.
Google Wallet is designed for use with Android phones running hardware version 4.4 or later, giving it compatibility with the vast majority of current generation devices on the OS. To use Google Wallet, the user must activate the app and hold the phone over a Google Wallet reader before entering their Google Wallet PIN to authorize the purchase. It is currently a US only service, and there have been no reports of immediate plans for expansion.
Apple Pay is compatible with all iOS devices running iOS version 8 or later. The service functions similarly to Google Wallet with the phone being held over a retailer’s mobile payments reader at the point of sale, but instead of a PIN number, Apple Pay adds a fingerprint scanner to allow verification of purchases for another layer of security. Apple Pay does not require that your phone be unlocked or that an app be activated, the purchase is immediately processed once the owner’s fingerprint is scanned.
One unique feature of Apple Pay is that the service stores the user’s financial information on the individual iPhone instead of in a proprietary cloud system like Google Wallet. This provides the ultimate level of personal security for data, but does have the drawback of linking the credit card information to the phone in the event that it is lost or stolen. Apple Pay is also only available in the US currently, but the company has indicated that it is on a path to international expansion in the near future.
Although the choice of which service you use will likely be determined by the type of smartphone you own, each of the two most popular mobile payments services has plenty to offer. In the end, the competition is a positive sign for the mobile payments industry as a whole, as the outcome is bound to be more access to these services for everyone.