Difference Between Apple Pay and Samsung Pay

Main Difference – Apple Pay vs Samsung Pay

The main difference between Apple Pay and Samsung Pay is that Apple Pay has an advantage of supporting more phones thanks to Apple watch whereas Samsung Pay is able to support magnetic stripe terminals in addition to NFC terminals, which expands its usage further.

Mobile payment is becoming very famous in today’s world as it reduces the need to carry a wallet filled with credit cards as well as cash. It also provides the user with the convenience of making payment in an easy, and secure manner since mobile payments come with may additional layers of security to make the payment as secure as possible. Let us take a closer look at these payment modes and find out which is the better of the two.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay is iOS’s own proprietary mobile payment mode which is supported by credit card enabled NFC terminals located at Point of Sale (POS). The Apple’s passbook app will be used to scan or manually enter credit card information into the iPhone 6 or 6s and the iPhone 6 Plus or 6s.

Apple Pay can be activated by waving or tapping on the phone near an NFC-enabled terminal. This will indicate that the payment is ready to be made, and this payment can be approved by the user by authentication made via fingerprint on the iPhone. If the user has the luxury of an Apple watch, the payment can be initiated easily by waving this over the NFC enabled terminal. Apple Pay is also able to facilitate commerce sites and commerce apps that are run on the iOS 8 or higher operating systems.

Financial Institutional Support

There is ample support provided by over 2500 banks and credit card issuers including visa, MasterCard, Barclay and Capital one and many more.


Over 700,000 retail outlets are capable of supporting Apple Pay, which includes Foot locker, Whole foods, and Sephora. Apple Pay is also able to support many apps that are available on online stores.

Device Support

Devices that support Apple Pay are iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S plus iPhone 6Plus and Apple watch for in-store usage and  iPad Air 2, iPad Pro, iPad Mini 3 and iPad Mini 4 for online purchasing.

Apple Pay is growing fast when compared with its competitors. Apple watch has the potential to connect Apple Pay with older phones like iPhone 5 which will even further expand Apple Pay to a larger audience. Apple Pay is also tokenized like many of its competitors. This will safeguard card information from potential hackers. Apple Pay also faces some hurdles which it will have to overcome soon. The NFC terminal is very expensive, and many retailers do not prefer them. Therefore, only a limited amount of NFC power terminals are available in the market, which may restrict its usage.

Difference Between Apple Pay and Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay

Samsung uses a payment platform known as Loop Pay as its mobile payment option for its users. This payment can be used just about at any point of sale terminal. As with Apple Pay, the initial step involves entering card detail with Samsung Pay. A swipe upwards on the bezel will reveal the Samsung Pay app. The user will be able to choose the credit or debit card that needs to be used. Afterward, the user can tap to connect to the NFC terminal, and the authentication can be made via the fingerprint scanner on the device.

The main advantage of Samsung Pay is its ability to work well with standard magnetic stripe POS terminals, in addition to NFC terminals. This is the key feature that differentiates it from other competing mobile payment modes like Apple pay and Android Pay. This is thanks to Magnetic Secure Transmission Technology provided by Loop Pay.  This works by opening up the Samsung app by swiping and selecting the card that is to use in the transaction. When the user holds the phone near the point of sale terminal, the transaction will take place as if a card was being swiped trough the terminal.

Supporting Institutions

Samsung pay is supported by a variety of institutions like Visa, MasterCard, and American express. There is also support from many other financial organizations which are not listed here.


There are over 30 million locations which support NFC or Magnetic stripe terminal all over the world. This payment mode is available in the US and South Korea. Verizon has taken steps to update phones like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus to support Samsung Pay.

Supported Devices

The devices that support Samsung Pay are the Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

Since Samsung can support standard magnetic stripe terminals, it has been widely accepted over Apple Pay and Android Pay. The only limitation here is that only a few high-end devices are able to support this feature for now.


Samsung Pay uses tokenization to secure its NFC transactions as well as magnetic stripe and mag stripe transactions. There is also an extra layer of security added thanks to industry standard encrypt format PCI DSS being used for data. There is also a small problem when using the magnetic stripe in regards to payment as the device has to be positioned in a particular way for the terminal to read the magnetic field.

Main Difference -  Apple Pay vs  Samsung Pay

Difference Between Apple Pay and Samsung Pay


Apple Pay: Apple Pay was launched on September 2015.

Samsung Pay: Samsung Pay was launched on September 2014.

Supported Phones

Apple Pay: This is supported by iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and many devices with the aid of Apple watch.  

Samsung Pay: Only a few high-end phones support Samsung Pay.

Supported Countries

Apple Pay: Apple Pay is available in the US, and the UK.

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

Payment Modes Supported

Apple Pay: Only NFC transactions are supported by this app.

Samsung Pay: NFC and Magnetic (MST) are supported  by this app.

Apple Pay’s inability to support non-NFC terminals restrict the user from using it in many outlets. This is a clear advantage with Samsung Pay as it is able to support many more terminals.

Launch of Payment Mode

Apple Pay: Apple Pay works automatically when it is in close proximity to an NFC terminal.

Samsung Pay: Samsung is launched by swiping from the bottom of the screen upwards.

Traditional Terminal Support

Apple Pay: Traditional terminals are not supported by Apple Pay.

Samsung Pay: Traditional terminals are supported by Samsung Pay.Difference Between Apple Pay and Samsung Pay - infographic

Apple Pay vs. Samsung Pay – Summary

Apple Pay is able to support a lot of devices when compared with Samsung Pay while Samsung Pay has the advantage of being able to support transaction on traditional terminals which are widely used around the world. Both have the potential of expanding into the world market due to the unique features they possess. Apple Pay with the help of Apple watch is able to support affordable iPhones, which may be preferred and used by many users who cannot afford high-end iPhones. Both payment methods are equally matched, and we will only have to wait and see who takes the upper hand on this emerging payment mode.

Image Courtesy:

“Apple Pay” by Scott Lewis (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

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