Apple Pay vs. Android Pay: What’s the better mobile payment platform?

We all know and love the fact that we can pay for products, flights, tickets, food, etc. via our mobile device. It’s a great time to be alive, especially for those of us who are a little too lazy to go pickup our sushi takeout on Sunday night. As Android Pay and Apple Pay battle it out to take the reigning mobile payment spot, we can sit back with our California roll and determine which mobile payment option really is the best bet.

apple-pay-vs-android-payWhen Apple Pay hit the market in 2014, CEO Tim Cook called the magnetic strip on our credit/debit cards “outdated” and “vulnerable” and well, old-fashioned. Need we say more? With the launch of the iPhone 6, Apple Pay made its debut and within its first 3 days on the market it registered over 1 million credit cards. It wasn’t the first brand to make mobile payment an option, but it was one of the first brand to make it mainstream for most users.



Fast forward to Android Pay. Google realized they needed to bring their own version of mobile payments to the table. In 2011, they gave us Google Wallet, which was really just a peer-to-peer payment system – think Venmo circa 2011. Google Wallet couldn’t really compete with Apple Pay since it was targeting a different audience. In 2015, Google launched Android Pay – a more competitive option to Apple Pay.

The Difference Between Apple Pay and Android Pay

Put the two systems next to each other and they basically do the same thing, even their interfaces are similar. For both interfaces, users have the ability to add their debit/credit card directly into the app by either taking a picture of their card or entering the information in manually. Both Apple Pay and Android Pay utilize NFC (near field communication) technology to “communicate transactions to NFC-enabled payment terminals”.


In a survey of 500 people, 44% have already installed a mobile payment option and 67% of those surveyed want Apple Pay. Since Apple Pay uses NFC technology for transactions, it is solely used for Apple devices, particularly newer Apple devices, such as the iPhone 6, 6s, 7, iPad Air 2, etc. On the contrary, Android Pay is available for all Android devices that support NFC technology and have the ability to run Android 4.4 KitKat or newer. According to TheVerge, with the release of Android Pay, it was already compatible with 70% of Android devices and supported by over 700,000 merchants – perhaps this gives Android a step up?

“It’s clear that Apple is in high demand, however, they did launch Apple Pay a year before Android Pay,” said Devon Bain, Software Developer at Passport. “Although both platforms have grown since their launch dates, across the board those that have the wallets are not utilizing them as much as expected.”



Of those that are utilizing Apple Pay, only 4% are actually utilizing the mobile wallet. As for Samsung Pay and Android Pay, according to Crone Consulting — only 4% and 1%, respectively. The platforms might seem popular, but the numbers are actually pretty low.

Transportation Industry Takes on Mobile Payments

“It’s not necessarily a question of which mobile app is better, but how they are pushing people to adopt the mobile payment method across the board,” said Phil Endres, Sales Associate at Passport.

With the progression of mobile payment technology, it is no surprise that the transportation industry is following suit. Take us, for example. With Passport’s mobile transit app, users have the ability to completely manage their experience from payment to determining where and when their transit option of choice will arrive at its destination. Convenience and efficiency go a long way.

As more and more mobile payment technology hits the market, users will be given the choice to pick one that works best for their daily lives. For now, Apple Pay and Android Pay will continue to compete in a market that’s thriving 24/7…