Google Pay vs Samsung Pay: Which is better?

Hannah Conway
3 minute read

Samsung Pay and Google Pay are both digital wallets, which enable easy mobile payments online, in apps and in stores. When you’re out and about you can use your mobile phone to pay for goods and services by simply tapping it against the merchant’s payment terminal as you would a contactless card - simple.

Here’s a summary of the two services, to bring you up to speed.

Google Pay¹Samsung Pay²
  • Available on Android devices in the UK, including Samsung phones.
  • Add cards to your digital wallet to pay for goods and services in stores, online and in apps.
  • Use to pay for some UK public transport.
  • Advanced security to keep your card and details safe.
  • Link your Transferwise debit MasterCard to make simple, cheap and safe payments as you travel - more on that in a moment.
  • Available on recent Samsung devices including Samsung Galaxy phones.
  • Store credit, debit and loyalty cards in your digital wallet for easy access.
  • Uses both MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) and NFC (Near-field communication) technology, making it widely accepted.
  • Use to pay for some UK public transport.
  • Advanced security to keep your card and details safe.
  • What is Google Pay?

    Google Pay is a digital wallet, or mobile payment platform, which allows you to add your card details, and use them to pay in stores, online and using apps. You can use Google Pay in the UK on most Android phones.

    How to use Google Pay?

    To use Google Pay:

    1. Download the Google Pay app.
    2. Add the cards you want to use to fund payments.
    3. Then you’ll be able to spend with just a tap of your mobile phone.

    Wise debit MasterCard with Google Pay

    Google Pay is here at Wise to make spending simple and fast!

    You can easily add a Transferwise debit MasterCard to Google Pay, so it’s simple and cheap to spend.

    You’ll get a Wise card when you open a multi-currency account. It lets you hold and send multiple currencies, and if needed, switch between them cheaply and easily using the real exchange rate.

    It’s easy to add Wise debit MasterCard to Google Pay. You’ll also be able to use your Wise card with Garmin Pay and Fitbit Pay. And, you can even use Google Pay to cover the costs of transfers with Wise.

    Want to shop in places where Mastercard isn't accepted? Use the Wise virtual debit card feature to add a free Visa debit card to your account. Use it with Google Pay just as you would any other card.

    What is Samsung Pay?

    Samsung Pay is the digital wallet provided by Samsung, and works on most recent Samsung devices. You’ll be able to add credit and debit cards, and spend easily while collecting loyalty points on any store cards you’ve added to the wallet.

    How does Samsung Pay work?

    Samsung Pay works in a similar way to Google Pay. You’ll download the app, confirm all your security details, and add the cards you want to use. You can then use your phone instead of a card when you shop.

    Samsung Pay vs Android Pay

    You may be wondering is Google Pay the same as Android Pay? If you’ve been researching digital wallets, you might have also come across reference to Android Pay. Google Pay was created by bringing together Android Pay and Google Wallet, and is now the most up to date offering for customers. You’ll no longer be able to set up Android Pay but will be directed to Google Pay instead.

    Apple Pay

    If you’re a fan of Apple devices, you might be trying to decide which digital wallet will work for you. While Google Pay and Samsung Pay probably won’t suit, Apple Pay - available on iOS and Mac systems - just might.

    Apple Pay works in a similar way to both Samsung Pay and Google Pay, making it easy to pay for things without having to find your wallet every time.³

    Google Pay or Samsung Pay

    Whether you choose Google Pay or Samsung Pay is largely down to the device you have, and your personal preference. If you have a Samsung device, you can choose either system - for all other Android phones, you’ll need to use Google Pay. The functionality of the two systems is similar, so if you have a choice you might want to try both and see which user experience works best for you.

    Samsung Pay and Google Pay are similar in many ways, including the basic functionality: swipe your phone at the register to pay, but the main differences between the two are: Samsung Pay is available only on Samsung devices. You can use Google Pay only on terminals that accept contactless payments over NFC.

    Remember - it’s simple and fast to start using a Wise debit MasterCard with Google Pay. Get a Wise account and start saving.

    Sources used:

    1. Google Pay: About
    2. Samsung Pay: About
    3. Apple Pay: About

    Sources checked on: 22-January 2020.

    This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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