Mobile Payments Kingpins Apple Pay and Samsung Pay Square Off

October 8, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Apple and Samsung have been at each other’s throats, economically speaking, for years. It’s especially unusual given that Samsung was actually building some iPhone components for quite some time. Now Apple Pay and Samsung Pay are likewise at odds, and a new report from Auriemma says the two are surprisingly well-matched, and equally succeeding, but in different areas.

The Auriemma report notes that Apple Pay is ruling the roost in terms of users. In fact, 77 percent of mobile wallet transactions can be traced back to Apple Pay, at least as far as debit card users are concerned. Apple’a dominance in numbers owes mainly to the fact it was the first to debut, and has seen higher overall use numbers. The inherently limited competition within Apple likely hasn’t hurt things for Apple Pay here either.

However, while Apple users are hefty in number, they’re no match for Samsung Pay engagement. Apple Pay and Google Pay users average about 5.5 transactions a month. Samsung Pay users average 7.3 transactions. This is likely due to Samsung Pay’s much wider acceptance rates; as Hannibal Buress demonstrated not so long ago with his deli run, Samsung Pay’s magnetic-based transmission capability allows it to be used anywhere a magstripe card can be read, which is in far more places than Google and Apple’s near-field communications (NFC) systems can be.

Auriemma’s director of the debit management roundtable, Anita Solaman, noted “The high adoption rate among debit card users may come down to demographics. Apple users skew younger, and younger consumers are more likely to be debit users.”

It does suggest clear plans of attack for both companies. Apple needs to get Apple Pay usable in more places; its dependence on agreements and arrangements are limiting its overall capability and giving its users less to work with. Samsung, meanwhile, has to fend off all the other Android options out there in order to get to its fullest potential, the limits of its user base. Its universal operations should be appeal enough to draw in interest, but the going so far has been slow.

Only time will tell just how this whole affair turns out, but with each needing to improve, the race will likely continue to be tight for some time to come.