Samsung Pay press

Although Apple Pay currently has more monthly users than Samsung Pay and Android Pay combined, an analyst cited in a recent report by Bloomberg claims that Samsung Pay is growing faster than Apple Pay. But it’s not just Samsung Pay that’s growing quickly. Both Samsung Pay and Android Pay have the same number of monthly active users – five million each – and both came out at the same time.

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Where the consumer technology world is headed in 2016

February 13, 2016

The reason Apple Pay has the bigger subscriber base is because Apple Pay has a year-long head start on its Android and Samsung equivalents, launching in October 2014. Both Samsung Pay and Android Pay arrived in September 2015.

Apple Pay vs competition Bloomberg

But Apple Pay still only has 12 million monthly active users compared to the five million subscribers each for Samsung Pay and Android Pay. We can’t say if Android Pay’s current growth curve is faster than Apple Pay’s as we haven’t seen recent adoption rate figures, but it seems likely.

We can't say if Android Pay's current growth curve is faster than Apple Pay's, but it seems likely.

Samsung Pay’s rapid growth is perhaps not too surprising, considering it works with both newer NFC payment terminals as well as the older magnetic stripe terminals (called MST). Both Apple Pay and Android Pay only work on NFC-equipped payment terminals. Having said that, the fact that Android Pay has the same number of users as Samsung Pay is an noteworthy achievement.

Android Pay AA

Of course, device penetration is a contributing factor for Apple Pay’s growth, with the U.S. being Apple’s typical stronghold. But Samsung is tackling touchless payments in North America head-on, having just signed up Wells Fargo to the service today, making Samsung Pay compatible with 70 banks and credit unions covering 70% of the U.S. credit and debit card market. Canada has also been added to the North American roadmap.

Samsung Pay will also launch in China this month, with Australia, Brazil, Spain, Singapore and the United Kingdom scheduled for later this year. Samsung Pay may only be available on the new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge and last year’s Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy A7 and A5, but as more new device come out supporting Samsung Pay, you can expect the number of subscribers to soar.

The same can be said of Apple Pay and Android Pay generally too. As more and more devices and institutions support touchless payments and the concept becomes more natural, usage rates will explode, not only in terms of monthly users but also the frequency with which touchless payments are made. If you’ve never paid for anything with your phone before, 2016 might just be the year you do.

Have you used any of these services yet? Let us know your thoughts on them below.

Kris Carlon
Kris Carlon is a Senior Editor at Android Authority. He is a half-British Australian who lives in Berlin, travels a lot and is always connected to a laptop, phone, smartwatch or tablet (and occasionally a book).
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