We had no hassle with online payments during the pandemic: we used our credit and debit cards for online purchases or casino online payments. In the real world, the situation was slightly different, as we tried to make contactless payments. In this process, applications supporting this technology gained popularity, and two of them stand out: Apple Pay and Google Pay. Both are mobile wallet services, and both allow you to make contactless payments. So, which one is better? In this article, we will try to answer this question and compare both services according to different criteria.
Ease of Setup
Both wallets come installed by default on iOS and Android devices. If for some reason they are not available, you can install them from their respective app stores like any other app. In terms of the installation process, both are quite easy, but we can say that Google Pay is more practical and understandable. You can add a credit/debit card or link your PayPal account to your wallet. There is no practical difference in terms of supported card types.
In terms of usability, Google Pay offers more options. You can use Apple Pay on iPhone 6 and higher phones, so for example iPhone 5s is not supported. Likewise, there is no version of Apple Pay that can be used on devices with the Android operating system. Google Pay, on the other hand, can work on iPhone 5s and has a downloadable version from the App Store. So, you can use Google Pay even within the iOS ecosystem, but Apple Pay does not offer this option.
We can say that in the long run, Google Pay will support more card types and payment options. This is due to the way both wallets work, as we will explain below. For security and privacy reasons, Apple only supports cards of payment institutions with which it has signed an agreement. So, for example, the reason why it supports VISA cards is that it has signed an agreement with VISA. Since Apple does not store user card information, it works like a kind of “middleman”, not like a real mobile wallet. If Apple does not sign an agreement with, for example, UnionPay, you cannot use that supplier's cards in Apple Pay.
Google Pay, on the other hand, does not need this as it works like a traditional mobile wallet. You can add any type of credit and debit card to the app, regardless of type and supplier. Currently, there is no difference between the supported card types between the two services, but when a new card type and/or payment option is released in the future, Google Pay users will be able to start using it immediately. Apple Pay users, on the other hand, have to wait for Apple to sign a deal first.
In this regard, Apple is one step ahead. Google Pay, like all other Google services, tracks user activities and turns them into usable/sellable data. In other words, every transaction you make with Google Pay is uploaded to Google servers to create a persona for you. With this information, for example, it can be determined what you buy the most and Google can start showing ads for your favorite product.
There is no such problem for Apple Pay: Apple does not track user transactions in any way. Apple is so serious about this that it charges banks for providing this service. You read that right: For every payment made using Apple Pay, the bank has to pay Apple a certain fee (this does not affect the end-user, the service is still free). Google, on the other hand, does not request such a fee because it handles the monetization business by collecting user data. Frankly, we wonder how Apple convinced banks to do this, but the thing that interests the end-user is this: Apple Pay does not track or record your transactions.
Both wallets are quite secure, but they provide this in different ways. Apple Pay only stores card information on the phone, not on its own servers. When you make a payment with Apple Pay, the app connects to your bank and checks your balance, and if it gets a positive result, it confirms the transaction by sending a one-time code to the merchant. In other words, the merchant cannot see your real card information in any way. However, there is a downside to this: If you lose a phone with Apple Pay enabled, you cannot log into your Apple account and delete payment information, as this information is not stored on Apple servers. All you can do is contact your bank and cancel your card and/or block your phone remotely.
Google, on the other hand, keeps the card information encrypted on its own servers. It creates a "virtual card" for each payment method and shares this information with the merchant. In other words, when you pay with Google Pay, the merchant can see your card information, but this is not your real card, it is a virtual card created by Google for that purchase. If you lose a phone with Google Pay enabled, you can connect to your Google account from another device and delete your card information. In addition, you still have the option to call your bank and cancel your card and/or block the phone remotely. Therefore, we can say that Google Pay is better but in terms of practicality, not security. Both wallets are secure, but Google offers more options if the phone is lost.