Difference Between Android Pay and Samsung Pay

Main Difference – Android Pay vs Samsung Pay

The main difference between Android Pay and Samsung Pay is that Android Pay is able to support traditional terminals whereas Samsung Pay only supports NFC terminals. Smartphone mobile payment has started to make a great impact in recent times. Apple was the first to introduce this trend in 2014 with Apple Pay, and it has gained many transactions ever since. By the end of last year, some new players entered the scene as well. Android Pay and Samsung Pay are two such players who prove that mobile payment will be a part of the future and is here to stay.

What is Android Pay

Like Apple Pay, Android Pay uses NFC to make a transaction. This means NFC-enabled terminals will be required in order to make the transaction work. Not all businesses are NFC enabled to say the least. Small businesses do not have NFC terminals and may take years to upgrade while fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s do have NFC enabled terminals that support Android Pay.

Android is new to supporting payments with applications. So it lacks most of the companies that Apple has in its payment system.

Easy to use

The Android Pay automatically activates itself as it is brought close to the terminal. This being followed by a verification of the fingerprint with the help of the fingerprint scanner will authorize the payment.


The Android Payment mode can be accomplished in a secure way without any loss of critical data. When paying with the use of NFC terminals, the card number does not get transmitted. Therefore, hackers cannot get their hands on your important data. There is a secure way of transmitting the number called tokenization which sends encrypted token instead of real numbers. Another security feature that comes with Android Pay is Secure Element, otherwise known as SE. This is a chip which has been placed on the phone to make payments even more secure. It not only protects mobile payments but also targets hardware attacks on the mobile payment phone itself. The SE is also useful in creating one-time codes randomly, instead of the actual card numbers when initializing a transaction.


Android Pay is supported by all major banks in the United States. Android Pay is also supported by many major carriers but does not provide any security feature to secure mobile payments. Banks will have information regarding the phone number which is linked to the phone. If by any chance any other phone number is used with the credit card number, the bank will put the card on hold.

Apps and Supported Devices

From a compatibility point of view, the best payment option in the market would be Android Pay as it is able to work on devices that come with Android 4.4 KitKat or later. It is also important to note that it comes with an NFC chip. The app can be downloaded from Google Play free of charge. The interface is also much cleaner and user-friendly.Main Difference - Android Pay vs Samsung Pay

What is Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay operates in a different way when compared to Android Pay and Apple Pay. When the card is placed close to the terminal, the magnetic cards are swiped.The phone is then able to send a magnetic signal to make the payment. Many stores do not have NFC payment facility, but most will consist of the magnetic card terminal. This is a key advantage of Samsung with regard to mobile payments since this function is not available with Android Pay and Apple Pay.

There are also options to pay from within the apps themselves. As online transactions are increasing day by day, this will be a convenient feature to make a payment with just one tap.

Easy to use

Samsung is also somewhat easy to use. A swipe from the bottom of the screen will open up the app which will be also using the fingerprint scanner to authorize the payment. Samsung Pay works with traditional terminals as well though some cashiers may not be aware of this. This may cause a bit of confusion and inevitably lead to a wastage of time.


Samsung Pay is supported by MST transactions. The security feature for Samsung Pay is very different when compared with NFC. Samsung Pay work by creating a magnetic field inside the device which can be read by the terminal. This magnetic field will carry the payment information to the terminal and process the transaction. The transaction is made as secure as possible as the magnetic field is generated only for a small period of time and it will only be able to spread around a distance of 3 inches. These factors make it hard for anyone who is on the lookout to steal this information. This is as secure as using a traditional credit card.


Samsung Pay is supported by all major banks in the United States. From a carrier point of view, Samsung Pay is supported by T-Mobile, AT&T and many other major carriers. The disadvantage of the carriers is, it does not provide any security features for mobile based payments. If the credit card is used with another phone that is not known by the bank, the card will be put on hold, and no transactions can take place afterwards. A call to the bank will restore the functions the card, and the hold will be lifted.

Apps and Supported Devices

Samsung Pay is supported by a free app which can be downloaded at Google Play. A tap on the bottom of the screen will reveal the cards that can be used for mobile payment. The user will be able to select a particular card and make the payment by authorizing it with the fingerprint scanner. Samsung Pay is able to work on top tier Samsung devices for the time being, but the company has promised to make it available with the phones that are to be released in 2016.

Difference Between Android Pay and Samsung Pay

Difference Between Android Pay and Samsung Pay

Supported Phones

Android Pay: Android Pay is available with phones that support Android 4.4 and above and NFC- supported phones.

Samsung Pay: Samsung Pay is available with high-end Galaxy phones.

From a compatibility point of view, Android Pay is better as it can support many phones whereas Samsung is restricted to selected phones.

Supported Countries

Android Pay: Android Pay is available in the US.

Samsung Pay: Samsung Pay is available in US, Korea.


Android Pay: Android Pay works on NFC terminals only.

Samsung Pay: Samsung Pay works on NFC, Magnetic (MST) and traditional terminals.

Being able to support both NFC and MST is an advantage with Samsung Pay as it is able to support terminals which cannot be supported by NFC only devices.

Launching Shortcut

Android Pay: This automatically starts when close to NFC terminals.

Samsung Pay: Swiping up from the bottom of the screen can launch a shortcut.

The Android pay is better in this aspect as it starts automatically while Samsung Pay needs to go through an extra step to be launched.

Android Pay vs Samsung Pay – Summary

Difference Between Android Pay and Samsung Pay - infographic

In the recent past, mobile payment schemes are becoming more popular and secure at the same time. More and more support is being made available thank to many carriers, companies, and banks providing the support. NFC-enabled terminals will be made available soon in many retailers to make mobile payment methods even popular. The mobile payment mode is expected to expand in the near future. It is expected that more affordable devices will be able to support mobile based payments. Although many of us are still using credit cards and cash to buy something; these methods will become less and less popular in the future as they give way to mobile payments.

Image Courtesy:

“Android Pay logo” by Google (Public Domain) via Wikimedia Commons 

“Galaxy S6 – с технологией Samsung Pay. Железный. И с версией с гнутыми краями.” by gilipollastv (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

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