Apple Pay vs Google Wallet

Written by Malarie Gokey (@MalarieGokey) via DigitalTrends

– Setup is easy for both, but different

It’s surprisingly simple to set up both Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Apple streamlined the process to near perfection, thanks to partnerships with major credit cards and banks. Google’s setup is slightly more invasive and complex, but that’s not entirely Google’s fault. Back in 2011 when Google Wallet debuted, the infrastructure of mobile payment security was messier and Google had to make its own system from scratch.

At the end of the day, it’s easier to set up Apple Pay. Apple’s partnerships and delayed entrance into the mobile payments space gives its wallet a leg up on the competition. However, Google Wallet is by no means difficult to set up in comparison with other mobile payment apps. Softcard in particular has a hellish setup process and even worse limitations, but we won’t go into that here.

Tap-to-pay in the real world

Apple Pay and Google Wallet face the same challenges out there in the real world. First off, you have to find a store that accepts NFC payments and then pray that their tap-to-pay terminals are still fully functional.

Apple Pay offers a more streamlined and effortless approach to tap-to-pay. You don’t have to wake your phone, open the app, or enter a PIN to complete your purchase. You just tap to pay, press your finger to Touch ID, and you’re done. Google Wallet requires you to wake your phone and sometimes it won’t work unless you open the app. At the end of your purchase, you either have to select credit as your payment method or enter your Google Wallet PIN.

Security is paramount – especially when it comes to credit cards

Most people who are skeptical about Apple Pay point to Apple’s recent failures to keep user data safe from hackers and say, “I’d never trust Apple with my credit cards!” What they don’t know is that Apple doesn’t store their credit card info and the actual card number is never shared with merchants. Apple Pay users’ data is vaulted with the same people who already have all their info: the credit card companies and banks. Essentially, if you trust your bank, you can trust Apple Pay.

Also, you can only use Apple Pay if your fingerprint matches the one on file, so criminals can’t steal your phone and buy things on your account.

Google Wallet, on the other hand, uses its own vaulting system to store your credit card info. When you add a card to the app, Google gets all your personal data, including your social security, bank account, and routing numbers. It stores that information on its servers and encrypts them with industry-standard SSL (secure socket layer) technology. However, Google also records information about your purchases, what stores you visit, the items you buy, and if you give it permission, your geolocation.

Although Google Wallet is locked with a PIN, thieves could still theoretically steal your phone and use it to make payments if the PIN lock is disabled. The addition of a fingerprint sensor to Apple’s system does lend extra security.

Apple’s partnership with big banks and credit card companies makes its mobile wallet safer and removes the risk of data breaches in stores and hacks on Apple’s servers. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the new iPhones also adds another layer of security to Apple Pay.

Read full article here: DigitalTrends


  1. Christian DiMare says

    Thank you Malarie for the informative article to learn the basics of these radical changes to how we will be making payments in the digital world. I have yet to try either and am waiting for the technology to continue getting better. The convenience factor looks awesome however my main concern is security and I would like to see more of a track record before I venture off into changing my ways.

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