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Apple vs Google vs Samsung: The war for the mobile wallet
It’s on! Google and Samsung are now among the first mobile wallet providers to join MasterCard's newly launched Digital Enablement Express, a platform intended to speed up the roll-out of digital commerce.
This comes as Apple cranks up its bank partnerships in the US and Europe ahead of today’s “Hey Siri” media event. The war for the mobile payments supremacy is in full swing, but how do the belligerents compared?
Apple’s OS-based proprietary system Apply Pay allows you to pay by taping your iPhone over an NFC-enabled point-of-sale (POS) terminals. It has ready partnered with over 2,500 banks and credit card issuers, and the number is growing. But they have teething problems, Apply Pay adoption rates have been disappointing to date.
Google’s first foray in payments - Google Wallet - will soon be discontinued, making way for its latest offering - Android Pay- which will be launched with the Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS. It doesn’t have as many partnerships as Apple yet, but it hopes to make life harder for its rival by leveraging its one big advantage: it works across all NFC-enabled Android devices.
The South Korean firm is a latecomer to the space but will no doubt shake things up with Samsung Pay. This system has wider coverage than its rivals because it allows users to make payments by placing their phone on, or near, magnetic stripe card readers already in wide use. So merchants do not have to install special equipment. It has already signed up the like of Visa, MasterCard and Chase as partners.
The other guys
You cannot talk about mobile payments and neglect to mention Alibaba’s AliPay or Tencent’s WeChat payments platform, both NFC-based. Focusing on China for now, these two are at each other throats but are yet to do battle with the other three. That said, they still have foothold in Asia, potentially bringing them up against Samsung, or putting a damper on any ambitions by Apple or Google to expand into China.