Mobile payments: Apple Pay, Google Wallet or other?

There is no need to bring your wallet and no need to grab that money clip. Still think that plastic is the way to go? Leave it all next to your pre-ripped jeans because they may be a bit outdated. The wave of the future is upon us and it is time to get with the program, or is it?

Pushing mobile payments are the tech companies. Which are incorporating the system into your next smart phone upgrade. Samsung is reportedly working on their own mobile payment idea to compete with Apple Pay. So what are mobile payments anyway?

Shopping with iPhone

(Photo: Jason Howie | Flickr)

You may have heard of some of the terms such as Apple Pay or Google Wallet, which use NFC (Near Field Communication). This type of payment method is in a fight for the future of purchasing power. It works by broadcasting a signal from a chip to a receiving device when placed within a certain proximity. So what exactly are our choices?

Photo: Bryan Thomas / Getty Images
An Apple Pay payment device.

According to an article from CBS some of the popular systems are:

  • Apple Pay – a system using NFC, which allows you to input your credit cards on the phone and then authorize payment with your fingerprint.
  • Google Wallet – another system utilizing NFC, but you must input a passcode. This could take fractions of a second longer due to having to type in your authorization.
  • SoftCard – another NFC system developed by the big mobile carriers Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.
  • LoopPay – works similar to NFC, but sends signals from a magnetic strip. Samsung is reportedly working on their own system or version with them, but has declined to give specifics.
  • PayPal – most are familiar with the payment service, but you use an app and pay from there.
  • Bar codes – scanned from your mobile screen and deducted from gift cards or credit cards in apps.


Would you like to see mobile payment in practice? Here’s an ad which showcases how they generally work.



Now that some options have been presented, what are the pros and cons of these systems?


  • No physical card
  • Apple Pay – A unique token is used to transmit data as a one-time event, and it replaces the CVV of cards.
  • Google Wallet & Apple Pay – a barrier exists, which requires a password of some kind, such as a fingerprint or pin code.
  • The signal requires the payment device to be close to the receiver, or may have its own version of data transfer like LoopPlay.
  • Bar codes require a physical person to scan and someone else to hold the phone with the bar code to be scanned, which adds a personal layer of security without handing over a physical card to someone else.


  • Some cards may not work with one, or many, of the payment systems.
  • You may have to upgrade your current device.
  • A payment system may only work with one kind of operating system, such as iOS, Android, or Windows.
  • Extra fees may be charged to use the cards in app.
  • You may have to buy extra hardware for your current device.
  • Speed may be an issue when having to scan versus holding a device close for transmission.


So the options as well as some pros and cons have been laid out. Do these dissuade you from using one system or the other? Does the idea of mobile payments, in general, make you squeamish? Are you using mobile payments already and feel as if it is no big deal? Sound off in the comments below. I would like to hear what people are using, or not using, and why.


6 thoughts on “Mobile payments: Apple Pay, Google Wallet or other?

  1. I think it will be the future options and once a person gets used to using it they will love it. I would be willing to try it out. Small at first

    1. Great comment, Barbara. I agree, that using it smaller at first and easing into it is a good practice. I love tech, but I’m still skeptical with something this sensitive being sent over wireless transmissions. Hackers can intercept anything from wireless these days, or so it seems.

    1. Hi Jackie, great comment. I think there are security issues with everything. Even cash can be stolen, but I understand how you feel. I feel the same as well, and I consider myself a tech enthusiast.

      We’re all worried about security issues, but once you begin to use it more and more it becomes routine. Even nearly all new cars are subject to hacking remotely, but no one seems to worry about their car being jacked while driving despite the threat being very real. With that said, I’m pretty sure this will become the norm.

  2. How available are these smart pay systems? If I left my wallet at home what happens if I’m at a place that doesn’t accept my phone payment system? I hardly use cash but do see this as an obstacle.

    1. Great questions Maverick!

      Apple Pay is becoming more and more prevalent in various stores. The second picture I used on my blog is a picture of an Apple Pay device. You can actually head here to see a list of places that accept Apple Pay.

      If you leave your wallet at home and they don’t accept your version of payment, then you’re most likely out of luck unless you are carrying an actual card with you for some reason. That’s definitely a drawback to the variety of systems

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