Google Pay vs. Samsung Pay: Which Payment Service Should You Use?

With contactless phone payments, you can pay for products and services without carrying cards or cash. Two of the biggest contactless payment processors out there today are Google Pay and Samsung Pay. But out of these two options, which one's right for you?

Interface and Ease of Use

Whether you want to access Google Pay or Samsung Pay, you need the respective app. You can download the Samsung Wallet or Google Wallet app from the Play Store. While Samsung Wallet is a combination of Samsung Pass and Samsung Pay, Google Wallet is a combination of Google Wallet and Google Pay.

On a Samsung phone, the Samsung Wallet app should be installed by default, but you'll have to head to the Play Store to download the Google Wallet app.

Google Wallet and Samsung Wallet are by no means difficult to use, but some want the most simple, convenient option, especially if you don't consider yourself very tech-savvy. So, let's look at the user interfaces of Samsung Wallet and Google Wallet to see which would suit you best.

Once you open Samsung Wallet, you have the option to protect your account with a password, face recognition, or fingerprint login. After setting up a login option, you'll see a simple home screen with an Add button for quick access. Tap it to add payment cards, loyalty cards, vouchers, digital keys, event tickets, and even boarding passes to your account.

samsung pay app introduction page screenshot

samsung wallet app quick access screenshot

samsung wallet quick access options screenshot

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Alternatively, you can tap the Menu option at the bottom of the home screen, where you can view the information you've already added to your account and check out promotions, notifications, and your settings. All in all, the app is very straightforward to use.

When it comes to the Google Wallet app, the setup is a little different but not complicated. You'll see an Add to Wallet option (which may also appear as a simple +) at the bottom right of the home screen, which you can use to add a payment card, transport pass, loyalty card, or gift card.

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google wallet adding options page screenshot

google wallet nfc activation page screenshot

google pay main screen screenshot

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The process of adding such data is pretty straightforward, though it differs slightly depending on what you're adding.

The app will also prompt you to turn on NFC (Near-Field Communication? for contactless payments. Activating NFC is essential if you want to use any app for contactless payments or scanning. However, be aware of its security risks, as drive-by NFC hacks are possible.

All in all, both apps are pretty simple to adapt to, and you can navigate either of them easily.

Security

When it comes to the storage of your payment information and other sensitive data, it's paramount that the app you choose is equipped with adequate security features. So, what do Google Wallet (formerly Google Pay) and Samsung Wallet offer in this respect?

First, let's look at the login options. As previously mentioned, Samsung Wallet lets you sign in using a password or fingerprint, but on top of that, you can activate facial recognition if available. You can also choose to sync your Samsung Wallet data with Samsung Cloud so that you can back it up.

Samsung also encrypts your payment information when you complete a transaction, sending it via its own servers and then to the card provider for approval. Sometimes, you'll need to enter a one-time password so that your card provider knows it's you making the purchase.

Samsung also keeps your funds and data safe during the payment process. When you pay, the vendor will just receive a token representative of your payment, while the money itself is kept safe. Only when your payment is authenticated will the vendor receive the real funds.

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Google Wallet also has some useful features that can help protect you. When it comes to accessing your account, Google Wallet gives you various login options, including a PIN, pattern, password, fingerprint, facial recognition, and iris scan (if your device supports it).

While Google Wallet won't ask for your login credentials for smaller payments, you will need to do so for larger transactions. Google also stores your payment information on its secure private servers.

If you happen to lose the phone that your Google Wallet account is active on, you can lock it remotely using Google Find My Device so that no one else can get their hands on your payment methods.

Supported Cards

Shutterstock<\/a>"">Google Pay vs. Samsung Pay: Which Payment Service Should You Use?

The contactless payment app you choose needs to support your preferred payment methods. So, how do Google Wallet (formerly Google Pay) and Samsung Wallet fare in that regard?

Let's start with Samsung Wallet. This app supports the following payment networks: American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.

When it comes to cards, Samsung supports a wide range of different providers, including:

  • American Express
  • Capital One
  • Bank of America
  • Chase Bank
  • Wells Fargo
  • CITI
  • USAA
  • PNC
  • TD Bank
  • BBVA Compass
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • Sun Trust
  • Regions
  • BB&T
  • Synchrony Bank

But it doesn't stop there. Samsung Wallet lets you add loyalty cards, boarding passes (for select airlines), event tickets (for select venues), vouchers, and digital keys for your Samsung SmartThings app. So, the app isn't just useful for direct payments; it allows you to conveniently use passes and coupons, too.

Google Wallet supports the same payment networks as Samsung Pay, which includes American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. When it comes to cards, it supports a wide range of different providers, according to Google's support page, including:

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  • BAC
  • Capital One
  • Green Dot
  • Discover
  • Barclays US
  • Chase Bank
  • AMEX
  • Wise
  • Regions
  • Santander Consumer Finance
  • BBVA Compass
  • NFCU
  • HSBC
  • CITI
  • PNC
  • Synchrony
  • Wells Fargo
  • US Bank
  • USAA

Like Samsung Wallet, Google Wallet supports additional kinds of data, including transport passes for various services, loyalty cards, and gift cards.

Availability

Shutterstock<\/a>"">Google Pay vs. Samsung Pay: Which Payment Service Should You Use?

As mentioned earlier, you can download both Google Wallet and Samsung Wallet for free from the Play Store. However, since you need a Samsung Galaxy phone to install Samsung Wallet, its availability is limited.

On top of that, Samsung Pay is only available in more than 24 countries, whereas Google Wallet (formerly Google Pay) is available in more than 80, according to Android Police. So, in terms of global reach, Google Wallet is the clear winner, and as a result, you can expect more merchants to support it.

Our Final Verdict

It's hard to pick a winner between Samsung Wallet and Google Wallet, especially if you live in the US. Both apps offer solid security features and a simple user interface while supporting various payment methods.

However, if you don't use a Samsung phone or Galaxy Watch, Google Wallet may be a more suitable and universal option for you down the line, as you can use it on a range of different devices.

All in all, both Google Wallet and Samsung Wallet simplify your daily payments and protect your card data without needing additional accessories.

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Hi, I’m Mohamed. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I’ve been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food on the blog because I believe in a balanced diet.

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