How NFC Works
All three popular mobile payment platforms use NFC technology, which uses a tiny chip in the smartphone that senses when it’s in close proximity with another chip and instantly transmits information between the two. NFC-enabled terminals can handle transactions using this contactless technology without swiping a card.
What Is Google Pay?
In January 2017, Android Pay and Google Wallet were merged into Google Pay, which uses payment information saved in your Google account for easier payments. Users can add gift cards, debit cards, credit cards, and even loyalty cards to the app, which uses NFC payment processing technology in-store to communicate with a compatible credit card machine. Google does not charge credit card processing fees to consumers for purchases through Google Pay.
What Is Apple Pay?
Apple Pay is only available for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch devices and it offers private, easy mobile payment services. Consumers can add debit, prepaid, and credit cards to their Wallet and make mobile payments in-store or online. Like Google Pay, Apple Pay allows consumers to continue earning loyalty points and rewards from credit cards and loyalty programs.
When a purchase is made, the receipt will be stored in the Wallet app but the transaction information is not stored anywhere. Card information is never passed to the merchant or stored on Apple servers.
What Is Samsung Pay?
Launched in 2015, Samsung Pay is a mobile wallet compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and later models. Because it only works with newer Samsung smartphones and smartwatches, Samsung Pay is more limited than Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Samsung Pay is unique because it uses NFC contactless technology but it can also work with older magnetic stripe POS readers. Merchants who have not updated to new card readers can still accept Samsung Pay because the app emits a magnetic signal that allows the phone to be used like a magnetic stripe card. This mobile wallet also offers its own rewards program, earning consumers Samsung Rewards for every purchase with Samsung Pay.
All three mobile wallets are accepted by most banks and credit card issuers and all simply require close proximity to an NFC-enabled credit card terminal and some form of authentication, such as a PIN or fingerprint ID, to complete transactions.
For merchants, there are clear advantages to accepting mobile payments like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. These services do not charge additional payment processing fees, which means merchants pay the current fees through their merchant services provider on digital wallet transactions. These transactions are more secure than traditional card payments because the merchant never has more than a transaction ID.
Accepting mobile payments can increase sales, convenience, and security — and it’s not difficult at all. To accept mobile payments, a merchant only needs a POS credit card terminal that accepts contactless payments.