July 25, 2018
  |   Ecommerce

Mobile Payments: A Side-By-Side Comparison

Mobile payments enable consumers to quickly checkout without the hassle of inputting their credit or debit card, shipping, and billing information each time they make an online purchase. There are several mobile payment options for consumers to choose from, and it seems more are popping up each day.

The good thing about most mobile payment solutions is the integration is similar across the board. Most mobile payments can be connected using the solution’s API or through a third-party ecommerce or payment platform. The process usually follows: create an account with the provider, access APIs, integrate and test, then push live. Security protocols are also similar across the board—each transaction has a unique token, and the mobile payment solution never stores the actual credit or debit card number.

We’ve identified the top mobile payment solutions, and a couple worth mentioning, comparing the perks and woes of each one.

Apple Pay


Millions of people use Apple Pay, and it is currently accepted by 35% of merchants in the U.S. according to a survey by Kount. According to Apple, businesses who use Apple Pay and follow best practices will find doubled checkout conversion rates, reduced checkout time, increased customer loyalty, and increased purchase frequency. Apple arrived early to the mobile payment arena, launching in 2013.

Once the consumer adds their credit or debit card to their Apple Pay account, they can start making online purchases and checkout in as little as two clicks. Shoppers authorize online payments by simply providing their thumbprint or PIN.


  • Apple Pay can support most transaction types, making it flexible and easy to accommodate most complex business models.
  • It can integrate with most major ecommerce platforms, including Salesforce Commerce Cloud and most major payment providers, including Stripe, Cybersource, and Chase Paymentech.
  • No fees. It’s free to integrate and there are no charges for the merchant or user.
  • On the Apple Pay developer site, there’s an abundance of resources, including marketing materials and best practices and videos and documentation for configuration and support.
  • Before going live, Apple Pay offers a sandbox environment to test your implementation with test credit and debit cards.
  • The app comes pre-downloaded on Apple devices, eliminating the extra step of downloading an app before using mobile payments for online and in-store purchases.


  • Apple Pay can only be used in iOS apps, watchOS apps, and websites on Safari—Android users are out of luck.

Google Pay


Earlier in 2018, Google combined Google Wallet and Android Pay to create Google Pay. According to their site, Google Pay decreases the customers’ checkout time and increases conversions. In under a week, businesses can set up the Google Pay API and start receiving transactions. When checking out, customers simply select Google Pay in their Android app or web checkout.

Similar to its competitors, Google Pay drastically reduces the number of required fields required when checking out online—eliminating the need to provide billing and shipping information for each online purchase. Google Pay is currently accepted by 25% of U.S. merchants.


  • Unlike some of its competitors, Google Pay is accepted across most browsers, including Safari, Firefox, and Chrome, and on all Android devices (regardless of maker).
  • If your store issues gift and loyalty cards and establishes a partnership with Google Pay, consumers can store the cards in Google Pay to use online or in store.


  • Google Pay does not become pre-downloaded on Android devices, forcing users to download the app before using.

Samsung Pay


In August of 2015, Samsung created Samsung Pay in response to Apple Pay. Of the top mobile payment solutions, it’s the least used payment method out of the four solutions mentioned in this article—it’s accepted by only 14% of merchants. Unlike many of its competitors, Samsung Pay is accepted at most POS and NFC terminals. For online checkout, Samsung partnered with Visa Checkout.


  • Samsung Pay comes pre-downloaded on most Samsung Galaxy and Gear devices, eliminating the step of downloading the app for its users.
  • Samsung Pay also allows your shoppers to add your loyalty or member cards straight to their device.


  • It’s only available on Samsung devices, barring Apple users from using the mobile payment service.
  • If the user wants to use Samsung Pay for online purchases, they must also have a Visa Checkout account.



PayPal has been around since the ‘90s and is still widely popular. Today, it is the most used mobile payments service. It can be used across most major websites, operating systems, browsers, and devices. Like many of the other mobile payment solutions, they accept all major credit cards. Once the user creates their PayPal account and provides their credit or debit card information, they can bypass guest checkout pages and avoid entering billing and shipping information for each purchase.

PayPal is the most widely accepted by merchants in the US, and the only payment solution out of the four mentioned that grew its acceptance rate from 2017 to 2018—it went from 58% in 2017 to 64% in 2018.


  • PayPal accepts all major credits cards and can be used across most devices, operating systems, and browsers, Regardless if the shopper is an iOS or Android user, PayPal will work for both shoppers.
  • Because it’s been around since the 90’s, consumers see the PayPal logo as a symbol of trust, putting them more at ease when making a mobile payment at checkout.
  • Similar to its competitors, PayPal offers a sandbox feature so developers can test the payment feature before pushing live.
  • PayPal can be integrated to your site either through their APIs.


Unlike the other mobile payment solutions, there is a fee if using PayPal Express Checkout. It’s 2.9% + $0.30 per US transaction, with no additional monthly or hidden fees.

Worth Mentioning

Two other mobile payment solutions that are worth mentioning in this article are Amex Express and Venmo. Amex Express grew from 9% market share in 2017 to 16% in 2018—the jump in market share could be as a result of how B2B consumers are shopping. They’re people too and seek seamless and quick payment options.

Venmo, a subsidiary of PayPal, is now accepted anywhere PayPal is accepted and has taken 5% of the mobile payment market share. It does take the user off the site and to the Venmo app to pay, but it allows users to split payments when online shopping. For businesses, this is a unique advertising opportunity, and the best part is it’s free. Venmo payments are public and shared on its feed (unless the user chooses not to). With each online or peer-to-peer payment, there’s typically a short description attached, such as “Father’s Day gift from Home Depot.” Right now, this is unique to Venmo, something most businesses will likely consider when choosing mobile payment solutions.

  Apple Pay Google Pay Samsung Pay PayPal
Where it works iOS devices (Apple’s iPhones, Watches, MacBooks, iPads, and iPad minis), websites supported by Safari, and in-store All Android devices and most browsers including Safari, Firefox, and Chrome, and in-store All Samsung Galaxy and Gear devices, in-store, and most major browsers All major devices, browsers, mobile operating systems, and in-stores
Security Each transaction is tokenized and credit or debit card information is never stored. Each transaction is tokenized and credit or debit card information is never stored. Each transaction is tokenized and credit or debit card information is never stored. Each transaction is tokenized and credit or debit card information is never stored.
Partnerships Ecommerce: BigCommerce. GoDaddy, Miva, IBM, Salesforce, Shopify, Squarespace, Symphony Commerce, Volusion, WooCommerce, Ayden


Payment Providers: Adyen, Authorize.Net, Bank of America Merchant Services, Blackbaud, Braintree, Chase Paymentech, CyberSource, Payments, MasterCard Payment Gateway, Miva, Shopify, Stripe, and more.

ACI, Ayden, Braintree, Checkout.com, Cloud Payments, Ebanx, First Data, Global Payments, IMSolutions, Paysafe, Payture, Shopify, Stripe, Vantiv, Worldpay Payment Platforms (via Visa Checkout): 3dcart, BigCommerce, Blackbaud, BlueSnap, CyberSource, Omegafi, Vantiv Ecommerce: Magento, WooCommerce, Miva, AbleCommerce, Broadleaf Commerce, CartManager, CS-Cart, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Ecommerce Templates, Ecwid, FoxyCart, Highwire Commerce, and more.


Payment Providers:


Fees None None None 2.9% + $0.30 per US transaction
Prerequisites 1- Create a merchant ID


2-Create a Payment Processing certificate

3-Enable Apple Pay in Xcode

4-Configure Apple Pay on the Web

1-Serve HTTPS webpage


2-Use a supported web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, or UCWeb UC Browser)

3-Add a payment method to your Google account

4-Adhere to the Google Pay API Acceptable Use Policy

1-Register with Samsung Pay Developers


2-Adapt Payment Request APIs for your site in accordance with Samsung’s Pay guidance

3-Determine integration method

1-Have a PayPal business or premier account.


2-Get an access token to use for authorization when you make API requests

3-Determine which integration method works best for your business model

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