The security and ease of use behind Apple Pay unquestionably makes Apple’s own mobile payment service the best in the business. Left to play catch-up, Samsung recently acquired LoopPay, a mobile payments company with technology that enables consumers to make payments via traditional credit card readers.
While both Samsung and Google have remained diplomatic in the face of reports that they are increasingly finding themselves at odds, it’s becoming increasingly hard to ignore that the two companies are actively trying to lessen their reliance on one another.
Dual payments efforts by Google and Samsung raise the prospect that new Samsung smartphones could have two payment services, which could be confusing for some users, said Tim Sloane, a payments analyst at Mercator Advisory Group. That’s especially true in comparison to Apple’s latest iPhones with its Apple Pay service, he said.
It won’t be the first time Samsung tried to build its own software platform atop Android. For at least two years, Samsung has been investing heavily in an enterprise-security platform called Knox. But the companies increasingly are working together on security and Google last year said it would embed parts of Knox in an upcoming Android update. That effectively left Samsung with less to differentiate its devices from those of other Android-powered smartphones.
For what it’s worth, Google, the report adds, curiously believes that multiple payment platforms can coexist on the same Android device. It’s hard to imagine, though, that Google truly believes that this provides a stellar user experience. With Android continuously positioned as an “open” alternative to Apple, Google is truly left in a tough spot here; they’d ideally like to make Google Wallet an overarching Android standard but they can’t risk alienating many of their partners. The dilemma becomes even more stark when one considers that a LoopPay enabled Samsung device might actually be more intuitive and secure than other Android-based offerings.
Clearly, it’ll be extremely interesting to see how this plays out. In the meantime, Apple Pay remains the mobile payment platform to beat, by a mile. Tim Cook recently noted during Apple’s January earnings conference call that Apple Pay now accounts for the vast majority of mobile based payments. At Panera Bread, for instance, Apple Pay now accounts for an impressive 80% of all mobile transactions.