It all began with the launch of Apple Pay, followed by Facebook declaring the added feature of sending money to friends and family via Messenger; and now Samsung has bulldozed its way into the arena with Samsung Pay. If you haven’t kept up to date with the latest in digital warfare it comes in the form of digital payment plans and options.
Apple was the first to get in on the action, launching what has been aptly dubbed Apple Pay in October, 2014. Apple Pay is a mobile payment service that enables specific Apple smartphones (iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus) and devices (iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, Apple Watch) to make payments at retail and online markets. It removes the need for using a credit or debit card as payments are made digitally, manufacturing a digital wallet. The service permits Apple device communicate on a wireless network using a near field communication (NFC) antenna (a dedicated chip that holds encrypted payment information). The service helps keep customer payment information from vendors and other users by creating a specific security code to each business transaction.
And now, according to various reports, Samsung intends to follow in Apple’s footsteps by launching its own digital payment system. Samsung will be using the same NFC chip to help protect and fulfill digital payments. Yet Samsung intends to take things further than the rest of its competition, as it its users will be able to utilize a fingerprint sensor featured on the Galaxy S6 to further secure and authorize digital transactions. Yet is there a considerable difference between these two powerhouses? Samsung has stated its Samsung Pay will still support point of sale transactions that are normally used for older magnetic strip credit and debit cards. They are able to provide such an option byway of a technology known as magnetic secure transmission (MST); a technology used to produce magnetic fields that imitate credit card swiped.
While MST might not make too much of a difference in the United Stated, due to retailers altering their Point of Sale (PoS) terminals to support NFC, Samsung does have the advantage in developing countries as consumers in those countries will most likely still be using magnetic strip cards. Furthermore, Apple Pay is currently supported by approximately 200,000 vendors in the United States. Whereas Samsung projects it will have the support of 30 million retailers upon launch of Samsung Pay. However, customers will still need to purchase a Galaxy S6 (if they haven’t one already) in order to utilize the service.
Samsung has already been given the green light by Fast Identity Online (FIDO) to launch internationally. The FIDO Alliance has been an international staple when it comes to online authentication and has around 90 members including PayPal, Google, Microsoft, Visa, and others. With the go ahead from FIDO Samsung can expand its service on a global scale.
Yet both Apple Pay and Samsung Pay can only be utilized if one has the required device for both enterprises. Still the market for this innovative technology is wide open as further improvements by both corporate giants will undoubtedly gain traction and distribution.