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Samsung Pay Beating Apple Pay, For Now

November 12, 2015 - Written By Daniel Fuller

The war on the plastic in your wallet heated up big time in 2015, with Android Pay and Samsung Pay rolling out to make your wallet jealous of your NFC-enabled phone and to put serious pressure on the competition, the fledgling Apple Pay. Some payment solutions fell by the wayside, such as Isis, and many Google Wallet users were forced to update, some of whom were none too happy, but it’s no exaggeration to say the mobile payment world is picking up steam. Even so, Apple Pay isn’t doing so hot, according to analysts. It only accounts for one percent of all retail transactions in the U.S. That may sound like a lot, and it is, but adoption is nowhere near what analysts and Apple were predicting, nor the figures that Apple Pay will need to survive in the long run. You could say this is merely growing pains and to an extent, you may be right, as analysts predict that Apple Pay will experience slow and steady growth over the next five years. In the United States, despite Apple Pay’s low adoption, no other mobile payment service comes close.

On a global scale, however, you may be surprised to know that Samsung’s brand new payment service, Samsung Pay, has Apple Pay by the throat despite being available on a limited number of devices at the moment. In Korea, Samsung’s home turf and one of the largest adopters of mobile payments worldwide, Samsung Pay is already pushing over 100,000 won, or roughly $86 USD per day. The accumulated number from all Samsung Pay transactions thus far is fairly staggering, considering how early in the game it is for Samsung. In total, Samsung Pay has managed over 100 billion won, or $86 million USD, of throughput in its short lifespan.

Looking back to the U.S., it’s interesting to note that about 75 percent of Samsung Pay’s transactions are made using MST, or magnetic security transmissions, as opposed to the gold standard of NFC. This is something Samsung does a bit differently from other mobile payment vendors and it may be enough to win them some increased adoption and a foothold over other payment vendors going forward, especially outside of the U.S. and China, where the iPhone dominates Samsung’s device line in sales. Interestingly enough, analysts have noted that those in the U.S. who’ve tried Samsung Pay end up repeat customers.

With mobile payments just starting to become mainstream, adoption on the store and bank front is still tepid for any solution, let alone any places offering all three available vendors at the moment. As the market heats up, Samsung Pay and Android Pay seem set to give Apple Pay a literal run for its money, but only time will tell if they can dethrone the infant juggernaut that put the final nail in Google Wallet’s NFC-powered coffin.