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Comparing Titans: Samsung Pay vs Google Pay

Živile Šarkauskaite

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Živile Šarkauskaite

December 6, 2023

The ongoing competition between the two giants in mobile payments continues to capture the attention of Android users. These two major players, Samsung Pay vs Google Pay, stand out as formidable contenders, each offering valuable features and capabilities.

As consumers increasingly transition to cashless transactions, the choice between these two prominent mobile payment platforms becomes pivotal.

This article will compare Samsung Pay and Google Pay, exploring their functionalities, security measures, acceptance at various merchants, and distinctive perks.

Whether you’re a seasoned user or a potential adopter, understanding the nuances of these payment giants can empower you to make an informed choice tailored to your preferences and needs.

Samsung Pay vs Google Pay: A short overview

Feature/AppSamsung PayGoogle Pay
Availability15 countries3 countries.
Google Wallet is available in 66 countries.
Payment optionsOnline and NFC paymentsOnline and NFC payments
Data securitySolution is secured by Knox. A payment card number is not stored on your phone with NFC payments.Data encryption and built-in authentication.
Cashback and rewardsGift and membership cards, discounts and special deals.Gift and membership cards, rewards, cashback from several merchants, in-store and online coupons.
SupportOnly Samsung phonesAndroid devices and iOS (tap-to-pay functionality unavailable)

What is Samsung Pay?

Samsung Pay is a mobile payment service and digital wallet just for any Samsung device. You can spend easily, collect loyalty points for store cards, and link them with PayPal. It also holds membership and loyalty cards.

It differs from Google Pay because it uses magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology. It acts like a credit card’s magnetic strip. This means you can use it at regular credit card machines, not just ones with near-field communication (NFC) technology.

Unfortunately, Samsung Pay works on fewer devices than Google Pay and Apple Pay. Only if you have a Samsung phone with Android 5.0 or higher, including Samsung Galaxy phones like Note 5 and S6 or newer, and various other Samsung devices, you can use Samsung Pay without worry.

How to use Samsung Pay?

To use the Samsung payment service, download the app to your Samsung phone, confirm security details, and add your desired cards. Your phone then serves as a card substitute when shopping.

Accepting Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover credit cards, Samsung Pay is supported by over 1,000 banks and credit unions. Also, you can manage gift cards and loyalty cards with barcodes in Samsung’s digital wallet.

When making a purchase, access the card on the app, verify it, and place your phone near the merchant’s payment terminal. When paying online, use the Samsung Pay payment method and verify with your fingerprint.

What is Google Pay?

Google Pay is like a digital wallet and payment app rolled into one. It came about in 2018 when Google Wallet and Android Pay joined forces.

With the Google Pay app, you can keep your credit and debit cards and tickets on your phone, making online and in-app payments a breeze. You can even link it with PayPal for more options.

Furthermore, Google Pay is handy for splitting expenses, earning rewards, and managing your money. Also, you can send money directly to a friend’s bank account.

Moreover, if you have an Android phone with NFC support, you can pay in-store using the tap-to-pay feature for cashless payments at NFC-compatible payment terminals.

While the Google Pay app is mainly for Android phones, iOS users can also get it. However, if you use an iPhone, sorry, you can’t make Google Pay contactless payments. It’s because it is restricted to only Apple apps.

How to use Google Pay?

To use Google Pay, first, download the app. Then, add the cards you want to use, and you’re ready.

In-store, Google Pay uses NFC to send your card details to the reader. When paying, hold your phone close to the reader if the store supports NFC payments.

Set a PIN, pattern, or password, or use your phone’s lock for additional security. You can also use fingerprint or Face ID to unlock. Remember that Smart Unlock, Knock to Unlock, and retina scanning aren’t supported.

For an even higher security level, Google may send a code for purchase verification. If you added cards to Android Pay or Google Wallet before, they work without re-adding them to Google Pay.

Google Pay vs Samsung Pay

Google Pay vs Samsung Pay: which is better to use?

Deciding between Google Pay and Samsung Pay is all about personal choice, and it’s not easy to say which one is better. However, looking at a few things about each can make it easier for you to decide based on what you like and need.


You can use Samsung Pay and Google Pay at various merchants, like stores and restaurants, where NFC payments are available. Also, these payment methods are compatible with apps and websites, including Airbnb and Amazon. Moreover, transit partnerships with entities like Metro enhance functionality.

Regarding availability, Samsung Pay is accessible in 15 countries, while Google Pay operates in the U.S., Singapore, and India, with Google Wallet available in 66 countries.

Both services support a wide array of banks, including smaller local networks and credit unions, with the list continually growing. They also facilitate membership cards, gift cards, and transit passes in select locations, with some airlines incorporating plane tickets.

However, Google Pay’s reliance on phone numbers for logins may be perceived as a minor inconvenience.


Google Pay and Samsung Pay prioritise security using similar technologies, avoiding storing bank details and tokenising card information during transactions.

Google Pay enhances security by utilising a virtual account number. It protects your personal information on your phone without relying on your actual credit card number and other personal details.

Similarly to Google Pay, Samsung Wallet uses biometric verification, like fingerprint scanners or facial recognition.

In general, Samsung Pay potentially surpasses Google Pay. Both use encryption and authentication, but Samsung’s solution benefits from the robust Knox security platform embedded in various devices, ensuring comprehensive encryption and reinforcing overall security.

Payment options

Google Pay and Samsung Pay use NFC technology for physical payments by tapping Android phones on a compatible card reader. However, not all merchants have NFC-compatible terminals, limiting this option.

Samsung phones used to have MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) for non-NFC terminals, but the latest Galaxy S23 series no longer supports this, and future support is unlikely. This change started with the Galaxy S21 family in the U.S., eliminating one of Samsung’s advantages over Google Pay.

For online payments, many retailers accept both, but Google Pay is more widely used.

Cashback and rewards

Samsung Pay and Google Pay support gift and membership cards.

Samsung provides discounts and special deals. However, some users find them spammy, and many may not find most discounts relevant.

Another notable feature is Samsung Rewards, which lets you earn points while shopping and redeem them on the Samsung app or official website.

In contrast, Google Pay offers rewards like cashback and coupons from various merchants.


Google Pay and Samsung Pay operate for free. Whether you’re making purchases with Google Pay or subscribing to and using Samsung Pay, there are no additional charges for these transactions.