Google Wallet and Samsung Wallet are very similar in terms of functionality. Which is the most interesting? For what type of user? We tell you everything.
When NFC began to take hold on our smartphones, manufacturers and developers quickly realized its interest in mobile payment. Services like Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay then appeared. These services have since evolved into digital wallets, Walletvery complete, serving to store important documents and, of course, to pay without contact via virtual credit cards.
What is Google Wallet?
Google is present in almost all tech markets. Launched in July 2022, Google Wallet is, technically, just an extension of the service known as Google Pay, itself rebranded as Android Pay, in most markets. In the United States and Singapore, Google Pay still exists alongside Google Wallet as an independent application. Google Wallet now serves as a payment system and digital wallet in all other countries.
Google Wallet features cover everything you could imagine from a digital wallet. Payment and storage of cards, of course, but also the possibility of storing transport tickets, events, identity documents, permits and loyalty cards. If you have a smartphone with an NFC chip, paying with Google Wallet only requires selecting the correct payment method at checkout and approaching your smartphone.
What is Samsung Wallet?
Samsung Wallet came into being in June 2022 as a merger of Samsung Pay and Samsung Pass. Although Wallet was limited to just six countries when it launched, its rollout has since expanded significantly.
Samsung Wallet data is stored in Knox, Samsung’s environment that centralizes encrypted information in non-volatile memory and is protected from malware and other malicious attacks. Samsung Wallet is available exclusively on Galaxy devices running Android 9 or newer, up to Samsung Galaxy S8. Some entry-level devices are not compatible because they lack the necessary hardware components. The most limiting factor ultimately remains the pace: to date, Samsung Wallet is only available in 21 countries. Like Google Wallet, Samsung Wallet can store loyalty cards, transport cards, car keys, health data and more.
Samsung Wallet offers niche features
In terms of functionality, Samsung Wallet integrates a crypto wallet compatible with the Coinbase and Gemini exchanges. It can store Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. Google Wallet, however, does better with transport maps thanks to its integration into Google Maps. And while both apps can manage digital car keys from partner brands, Samsung Wallet can also support digital house keys for SmartThings connected locks.
Another reason you might prefer Google Wallet over Samsung Wallet is the integration into smartwatches. While contactless payment via Google Wallet works with any smartwatch running WearOS 2.0 or newer that has NFC, Samsung Wallet is only supported on Galaxy Watch watches. Both Google Wallet and Samsung Wallet also offer two-factor authentication and biometrics as a security measure, but the storage procedure is different. Google stores securely in the cloud for syncing, while Samsung stores locally, on each device, which makes switching devices trickier.
The Google ecosystem wins
The main advantage of Google Wallet remains its integration with your Google account, especially for Chrome users. Once connected to a Chrome browser, the latter can access and use your Wallet information to facilitate payment procedures. Many sites support Google Pay and even if they don’t, Google Chrome can use information from a card saved in your Google Wallet and automatically fill out the form to save you time. It also simplifies the protection and recovery of data in the event of theft or loss of a device. However, Samsung Galaxy users who also have a Samsung account can do the same.
While many merchants accept Samsung Wallet and Samsung Pay (like Google Pay), these integrations are less common and only available on mobile. If you have cards saved to your Samsung Wallet, information may be auto-populated on mobile sites if your password manager is Samsung Pass or Samsung Wallet. Your preferred ecosystem will be the most important factor in deciding between Google Wallet and Samsung Wallet. The best reasons to go with Samsung’s solution being if you have a Samsung SmartThings smart lock, want to avoid cloud storage, or need cryptocurrency support.