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Apple Pay vs. Google Wallet: A detailed comparison

Published Nov 3rd, 2014 12:40PM EST
Apple Pay Vs. Google Wallet Comparison

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Google Wallet has been available to Android users for years, although it’s never really caught on in the way that Google hoped. Apple Pay has only been available less than a month but is already the most popular mobile payments platform around. Are there any major differences between these two platforms that explain why Apple Pay has surged in the early going while Google Wallet is lagging behind despite beating Apple Pay to market years earlier? Engadget’s Nicole Lee spent a week using both platforms and reported her findings in a very thorough breakdown of each.

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Lee has found that overall both Apple Pay and Google Wallet both perform well but she notes that Apple has been much smarter about both promoting its app and on making sure its users know how to take advantage of it on their devices.

“Google Wallet doesn’t seem to have caught on, most likely due to slow carrier adoption (many of them preferred to push Isis/Softcard, their own mobile wallet solution, instead) and the fact that many phones require that you download the Wallet app,” she writes. “Apple Pay, on the other hand, works with Passbook, an app that’s preinstalled with every new iPhone. ”

In terms of functionality, meanwhile, Lee found that Apple Pay was slightly easier and more intuitive to use than Google Wallet, but not by that much.

“Payments made with Wallet definitely require a bit more attention and processing time than Apple Pay, but it honestly wasn’t significant enough to matter to me, at least most of the time,” she writes.

Lee’s full analysis is worth reading and can be found at the source link below.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.