A comparison of digital wallet options for Android users

A comparison of Google Pay, Samsung Pay and bank-specific apps

GUIDE: Program Guide
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 2 minutes
POSTED: April 22, 2019
UPDATED: April 22, 2019
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Relevant to Multiple Programs

With over half of all smartphones in New Zealand running the Android platform, we weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of the various Android digital wallet services on the market in 2018.

If you are an Apple user, we have a separate guide for you.

Google Pay

Google Pay allows Android users to make payments using their smartphones at millions of locations worldwide, including online and in stores. To get started, users will need to download the Google Pay app from the Google Play store.

You can use Google Pay with any Android device running KitKat 4.4 or above. This app can currently be used in NZ with ANZ and BNZcheck the list to see if your card is eligible.

Google Pay also has the advantage of supporting in-app purchases for retailers such as Airbnb.

To make a payment, you just hold the smartphone over any payment terminal showing the Google Pay or contactless payment logo. You will need to type in your password first, but there is no need to open the Google Pay app. And just like Apple Pay, if you lose your phone, you can track your device and wipe the data using the Android Device Manager.

A strength of Google Pay is that it works with a large number of apps, including many large stores and fast food chains. A full list can be found here.

This short video explains how to pay in stores with Google Pay.

Download link

Samsung Pay

This option is not currently supported in New Zealand – but we’ll let you know when and if that changes.

Bank-specific digital wallets

These are the most restrictive of the bunch, obviously only covering certain cards at one bank, plus convenience is reduced for these applications, as for payments over $80, you still have to enter your PIN.

ASB Virtual

ASB Virtual

You can add ASB Virtual to any of your ASB Visa credit cards and ASB Visa Debit cards that you have available in the cards menu of your ASB Mobile app.

Download link

Westpac Pay

Westpac Pay

Westpac offers Tap & Pay functionality through either its own app, or through a Westpac PayTag which can be purchased for $4.99 (free for Westpac World Mastercard and Airpoints Debit Mastercard cardholders).

Most personal and business cards are eligible, the full list can be found here.

Download link

Other options

ASB and Gem Visa customers can use Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay.

Summing up

Innovation in payment via phones and wearables is exciting! We hope to see more options rolled out to New Zealand customers soon, as the reach seems to be lagging, with Kiwibank being the big bank that is not currently offering anything in this space.

A word of warning: while there is a high convenience factor in using your phone to pay for a lot of purchases, maybe think twice when going through a drive-thru and reaching your phone out to a terminal or cashier—it might be better to use an actual card in that case to avoid any unexpected drops.

Supplementary images courtesy respective suppliers.

A comparison of digital wallet options for Android users was last modified: April 22nd, 2019 by Daniel Kinnoch