Samsung Pay hits 5m registered users - how does it compare to Apple?

Tap-to-pay taking off?

Samsung Pay

If you've been using Samsung Pay to exchange money for goods and services then you're one of around 5 million users worldwide, according to new figures released by the South Korean tech giant. Apparently some US$500 million worth of transactions have been logged since the payments platform launched last year.

"Samsung Pay has changed the way people pay and use their smartphones," reckons Samsung's Injong Rhee, though we're not sure we agree. "We've already seen significant consumer adoption and we continue to see great momentum. Our aim is to expand Samsung Pay to even more locations around the world, and our customers should expect to see more features in the year to come."

For now the service is only available in the US and South Korea, but the company is promising a China launch in March before Samsung Pay is rolled out to Australia, Brazil, Singapore, Spain and the UK "later in the year". You do need a Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy Note 5 or Gear 2 to use it, however - presumably this year's flagships will be compatible too.

Apple vs Samsung, again

No Samsung news would be complete without a comparison to Apple's own rival product, so how do those figures stack up against the mighty Apple Pay? One benefit Samsung's option has is that it works with older card reader terminals (by simulating a magnetic strip) as well as the new contactless, NFC-enabled, tap-to-pay hardware.

The truth is we don't really know how well Apple Pay is doing, because the Cupertino company hasn't told us. Third-party industry analysts have made educated guesses, putting the number of regular Apple Pay users somewhere around the 3 million mark, but for now that's all they are - educated guesses.

As with Samsung, you need Apple-branded hardware to use the Apple payments service, so Tim Cook will be reassured by the fact that his company is still shifting huge numbers of iPhones every month. Apple Pay is also available in more countries than Samsung Pay, and launched earlier, which should also count in its favour.

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