Contactless payment with smartwatches and smartphones works with Samsung Pay and Google Pay, among others. What is the difference between the two payment services? We compare them and highlight advantages and disadvantages.
This is how both payment services work
For Google Pay you have to deposit your bank card in the app. Image: © Adobe Stock/prima91 2020
The payment service Samsung Pay has been available in Germany since the end of October 2020. Unlike other mobile payment services, you cannot use an existing credit card for Samsung Pay. Instead, you get a virtual VISA card from Samsung's partner Solarisbank. Means: You must first create a Samsung Pay account and then link it to your account at Solarisbank.
Google Pay has been available in Germany since June 2018. Compared to Samsung Pay, account creation is faster. As with Apple Pay, for example, you simply store your bank card in the associated app – then you can get started.
Samsung Pay: Exclusively for Samsung devices
You can only use Samsung Pay with the accompanying " Samsung Wallet " app. This app is only available for Samsung devices. This means that Samsung Pay does not work on smartphones and smartwatches from other manufacturers. Your Samsung phone must also be running the Android 9 operating system or higher.
Samsung Pay should work on recent devices from the following series:
- Galaxy A
- Galaxy Note
- Galaxy S
- Galaxy X cover
- Galaxy Z
- Galaxy Watch4
- Galaxy Watch4 classic
- Galaxy Watch3
- Galaxy Watch
- Galaxy Watch Active2
- Galaxy Watch Active
You can find a complete list of all compatible devices on the official Samsung website.
Samsung Pay is available in almost 25 countries around the world. There is a catch: some popular holiday destinations for Germans are not included – including Denmark, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Google Pay: Can be used on many Android devices
Compared to Samsung Pay, Google Pay is compatible with almost all Android smartphones as long as they have an NFC chip. You can download the associated app from the Google Play Store . Another benefit over Samsung Pay is availability. You can use Google Pay in more than 40 countries worldwide – including Denmark, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands, which Samsung Pay does not cover.
MST module: unique selling point of Samsung Pay
Contactless payment works via NFC technology. By 2021, Samsung will have equipped most of its smartphones with a so-called MST module in addition to an NFC chip. MST stands for Magnetic Secure Transmission. This emulated a magnetic stripe card. This means that contactless payment worked even if card readers were not NFC-enabled.
The feature was a unique selling point that was only available with Samsung Pay. Meanwhile, Samsung no longer installs MST modules. The reason: More and more card readers are NFC-compatible.
Google Pay with PayPal link
Google Pay and Samsung Pay are compatible with most debit and credit card providers. If you primarily use PayPal, Google Pay could be more interesting for you. Because you can link Google Pay to your PayPal account in just a few steps. A big advantage that Samsung doesn't offer.
Tip : Paying via PayPal is possible anywhere in the world where contactless payment with Mastercard is also accepted.
Samsung and Google: Safety first
Above all, paying with Samsung and Google Pay should be secure. Both providers take appropriate measures for this: With both payment services, the data is transmitted in encrypted form. In addition, the smartphone or smartwatch you use to pay must be unlocked.
But Samsung goes one step further: According to Samsung, sensitive data is stored in a virtual safe using its own Samsung Knox technology (allusion to Fort Knox).
Samsung Pay: Splitpay for installment payments
With Splitpay you can pay in installments with Samsung Pay. Image: © Samsung 2020
Both Samsung Pay and Google Pay have a lot of useful features on board. For example, you can store different customer and gift cards with both payment services.
Samsung Pay also offers a feature called Splitpay. It allows installment payments. In the shop you can decide at the checkout whether the amount should be debited as an installment payment or as a whole.
- You can only use Samsung Pay on Samsung devices.
- Older Samsung devices still have an MST module. This allows you to make contactless payments if the card reader does not support the NFC connection.
- With the Splitpay function, you can initiate installment payments with Samsung Pay.
- Google Pay works on almost all Android smartphones that have an NFC chip.
- For Google Pay, all you have to do is enter your bank card in the app. For Samsung Pay you get a virtual credit card from Solarisbank.
- Google Pay can be linked to your PayPal account.