With retailers and consumers alike hungry for new and effective solutions to respond to current buying trends, one of the most hotly contested new marketplaces is that of mobile payments.
Mobile payments offer an alternative to carrying cash or credit cards by allowing a user to link a payment source such as a bank account or credit card to a payment instrument such as a key chain or in this case, a mobile smartphone app.
The two most widely mobile payment apps are Apple Pay and Google Wallet, and although they both share the same advantages over traditional payment methods such as added convenience and security, each has slightly different characteristics that may make one or the other more suitable for a given user.
Convenience: Edge- Apple Pay
The Apple Pay system is always activated once the financial information is linked to the smartphone. To make a purchase, the user must simply hold their smartphone over a contactless payment reader at the point of sale, then confirm the purchase through the iPhone’s fingerprint verification system to complete the transaction. This scan is even active when the phone is sleeping or in another application, making purchases quick and easy.
The Google Wallet Payment method is slightly more involved, requiring the Google Wallet app be manually activated before a purchase can be made. Once the app has opened, the phone is held over the contactless payment reader and the purchase is confirmed when a security PIN is entered on the phone.
Security: Edge- Google Wallet
Google Wallet’s purchase process makes it difficult for unauthorized purchases to be made with the smartphone, and the financial information linked to the account is not stored on the phone, but in a secure cloud-based utility only accessible by the user.
While the fingerprint scan of the iPhone’s Apple Pay feature may provide an even higher level of initial security at the point of sale, the potential drawback comes in the storage method used for the financial information. The source information for the payment source is stored on the phone itself, and this could expose the owner to risk of identity theft in the hands of a skilled criminal.
Each mobile payments service is exclusive to an operating system, so the payment service you will use depends on the type of device you own. However, if you plan to use mobile payments frequently, the differences between the two may be substantial enough to consider basing your choice of smartphone on the mobile payments system compatible with it.