Apple Pay vs. PayPal: Which Should You Choose?

The desire to push for a cashless society continues to attract competing players in a market that could yet redefine the word currency. After the emergence of PayPal in the early 2000s, several other online payment options have emerged and now, companies are actually focused on innovative payment methods that can be executed via a mobile phone.

PayPal is an online payments platform which allows people to send or receive money online, as well as, buy goods and pay for services without having to swipe their credit card. However, PayPal is not a standalone payment system like a bank account. Users are required to link credit/debit cards or their bank accounts in order to access the full services offered by PayPal.

In 2014, Apple launched its own virtual currency payment system called Apple Pay. Like PayPal, users are required to link their credit/debit cards in order to utilize its services. Apple Pay is a mobile wallet offered by the technology behemoth through its smart devices which include Apple Watch, iPhone, and iPad, for all models launched in 2014 onwards.

Apple Pay uses NFC technology to make payments at contactless points of sale. The feature can also work with existing contactless terminals. Currently, Apple says that Apple Pay is acceptable in more than one million stores that accept contactless payments. The feature can also work with participating apps to the same end.

Why you may want to choose Apple Pay instead of PayPal

Apple Pay is for those who adore simplicity. With it, you only need to open the Apple Pay feature on your device and select the registered card that you wish to use to make payments. After that, all the rest is left to the NFC technology to do its bit. Apple Pay communicates with the point of sale register when you move the phone closer to the terminal.

It’s quick, efficient, and secure. On the other hand, PayPal’s process is a little bit longer and can be complicated at times. For instance, its smartphone app shows a list of participating stores nearby, in which case, after completing a purchase, you may have to do one of the following: do nothing and wait for the app to complete the job by sending a wireless notification to the store. The store then completes the payment for you by charging your PayPal account. OR, you may be required to type an authorization pin into their checkout device or display a bar code appearing on your screen in order to complete the payment.

As such, Apple Pay trumps PayPal in this respect as it is able to complete payments quicker, and without complications.

Why you may consider PayPal instead of Apple Pay

One of the biggest advantages of using PayPal instead of Apple Pay is its application. Apple Pay is still pretty much a toddler in the industry when compared to PayPal. PayPal is accepted globally and can be used to make payments via several websites. On the other hand, Apple Pay can only be used in just over one million stores.

Additionally, the PayPal mobile app lets you actually know when you are close to participating stores and this can be useful in saving time as compared to using Apple Pay, in which case, you may need to know in advance whether or not the store you are at accepts Apple Pay to avoid inconveniences.

Who is likely to dominate the market in a few years?

While this question may appear to be addressed towards investors, it is pretty much everyone’s. You would want to work with the best in the industry because this also means availability across the globe. Nonetheless, it wouldn’t hurt to have both or as many mobile wallets as necessary.

Reports emerged last year about Apple’s intentions to use its messaging service iMessage to try and counter PayPal’s peer-to-peer payment service. This could be a huge play-card for Apple if it manages to execute accordingly.

On the other hand, PayPal has been working on a series of mobile payments technologies. It is trying to come up with the best service across all platforms including mobile devices and web platforms.

At the moment, we should be honest and admit that PayPal appears to be way ahead in this race, but in a couple of years’ time, answering the question in the title of this post might be a little bit difficult.


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