Singapore always gets the best stuff in South East Asia. That is what they say, and that is pretty much true for the tech industry. It is no wonder then that Apple Pay and Samsung Pay made themselves available in Singapore first before making its way into the likes of Malaysia. Now though Singaporeans have a third option – Google Pay. In fact Singapore is the first Asian country to get all three virtual pay services. But with Apple and Samsung paving their way early in Singapore Google will have to play catch up against them. Or do they?
First up, like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay Google’s Android Pay is a virtual payment mobile app. The app allows you to make payments through NFC in participating outlets like 7-11, BreadTalk, and even McDonald’s just to name a few. Like those two as well, all you need to do to make payment is wake your phone up and place it on the payment terminal. Another similarity would be the initial authentication to register your debit and credit cards. Credit cards supported are most MasterCard and VISA credit cards issued by DBS, OCBC, POSB, Standard Chartered, and UOB. But that is about where the similarities end.
Unlike Samsung Pay, Android Pay will not take advantage of the older Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) system. It only works with NFC like Apple. But unlike Apple and Samsung, Android Pay supports all Android devices with NFC capability that is on Android 4.4 KitKat onward. So it works on older devices while Samsung Pay and Apple Pay can only be use in newer devices. When using Samsung Pay and Apple Pay as well users need to authenticate using their fingerprints for each transactions. Not for Google’s Android Pay; the only authentication needed was when you register your credit card for the first time.
Of course with one time authentication some is going to wonder about the app’s security. Although the Android Pay app is designed to be as simple to use as possible, it is an integral part of the Android development. Security is one of Android’s current priority and obviously the Android Pay development team took it to heart. They adopted the “industry-standard tokenisation” as the security layer. Should you lose your device, you can lock your device through Android Device Manager. Through it also you can choose to change its password, or totally wipe data and information off your chosen or lost device.
Services that adopts Android Pay as of now is still limited to certain chain stores in Singapore but more will be added in the near future according to Google. Google also stated that they plan to bring in more services to be including in Android Pay so that it does not only an alternative payment system. Talks about adding loyalty card programs here are being heard. If you own a Samsung device and uses Samsung Pay alongside Android Pay though you can choose which app fires up by default when you want to make payments.