New Payment Technologies VS The Good Ole’ Fashioned Wallet

Sophie Hardbattle By Sophie Hardbattle

A Mighty Battle Between the Tech Greats

Apple and Google are fighting head-to-head to become the leading digital payment solution, but how do they compare to the good old faithful wallet?

Apple Pay


The iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple Watch all have the NFC capabilities that allow ‘contactless' payments. However, they are locked, so they only work with Apple Pay. This solution only works on Apple devices with the NFC chip, so can't be used on any Android phones or older iPhones. This is a considerably small amount of devices, especially when taking into account that the Apple Watch hasn't been released yet.


This payment solution has combined touch ID and NFC tokens (these mask card details and create a unique code that changes with each transaction) to create a super secure payment method. These two security precautions enable Apple to protect customers against fraud, arguabley making this payment solution safer than paying with your card.


Currently only available in selected US stores. Rumours suggest that Europe won't get this mobile payment solution until 2015. Booo!

Compatibility with Retailers

Although the tech giant states that Apple Pay works with 34 US stores, 8 of these are brands owned by Foot Locker. Recently some big-name US retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Gap, have turned off their NFC Readers, to disable Apple Pay in their stores. So it looks like a bit of a mixed response so far!


You can add a credit or debit card through the passbook, or choose to use the same payment method that iTunes uses. Then when in-store, you hold your iPhone near the conactless reader without placing your finger on Touch ID. Your phone should then ask you to pick your default card. Next you place your finger on Touch ID and scan your iPhone with the reader: transaction complete (hopefully).

Google Wallet


This is available on all Android phones (Gingerbread v2.3+) and iPhones (iOS v6.0+). It works on Android phones that have NFC capabilities, however, it cannot use the NFC chip in iPhones. Therefore, you must use the ‘Wallet Balance’ on iPhones and other devices without NFC, this is the money that is stored on your Google Wallet.


When setting up the app, you’ll be asked to create a custom 4-digit PIN. This will then be used to unlock the Wallet, send money and also withdraw money from ATMS with the Google Wallet Card.


It is currently only available in selected US stores. Google are being quite vague by not saying when the rest of the world will be seeing Google Wallet.

Compatibility with Retailers

You can use the Google Wallet Card at ‘millions of Mastercard locations’. There is a store locater within the app that shows you, on a map, where the nearest stores with NFC technology are.


To access Google Wallet you need to have a Google Account. Once you have your Google account you can go to to sign up, you then need to enter your personal and banking details. To pay using your phone, you need to ‘wake your device up’- the app doesn’t need to be open for this. Then hold the back of the device against the reader, you may be asked to enter your Wallet Pin, once completed the reader might beep or flash.

The Standard Wallet


… As long as the cards and cash fit in your wallet, you’re pretty much good to go…


Keep it secure and in a safe place and tear up your receipts! You know the drill. However, many will probably argue that these new payment technologies are much safer because of methods like touch ID.


Have it in your pocket? Yes? Then Bob’s your uncle, it can be used then and there. Amazing, I know.

Compatibility with Retailers

The wallet has brilliant 'dual payment capabilities'- CASH OR CARD!... This allows payment at almost every merchant. GEE WHIZZ!


Really?… Okay…

Open Wallet

Get Card

Use Card

Put Card away

Conclusion The conclusion depends on you; what do you find most important?

If you’re wanting to cut down on time, and to stop the ‘faffing' about with wallets, then maybe a smartphone solution is what you’re looking for. Apple Pay seems to be the simplest out of the two, but only by a few seconds.

Security is always going to be a big talking point when it comes to handling money, and both smartphone payment solutions have put security precautions in place. However, they are both relatively new, so who knows what possible threats there are? Whereas, with the trusty wallet, it’s a tried and tested method. There’s the typical dangers, like getting your wallet stolen, but that could also happen to your phone.

Obviously the two digital methods are only in the US at the moment, so it seems we’ll have to settle with our old friend; the wallet. But I guess this lets us sit back and wait while all of the kinks get ironed out, so when the method finally comes to us, it will be tried and tested.

comments powered by Disqus

Introducing PowerUp

By sophie

Introducing PowerUp -- our new virtual reality solution for events.

Read more

We’re a top UK digital agency - wahoo!

By Sophie Hardbattle

We're Eden Agency - one of the UK's top digital agencies.

Read more

An Introduction to Building a SpriteKit-UIKit Hybrid App

By Alan Chung

A guide to help you get started on making an iOS app that seamlessly combines the visual punch of SpriteKit with the practicality of UIKit.

Read more

How to build a material design prototype using Sketch and Pixate - Part Three

By Mike Scamell

Part three of a three-part tutorial on building a material design prototype. This section focuses on adding more detail to the prototype in Pixate.

Read more

We're Hiring - Web Developer Role

By Craig Gilchrist

We are currently seeking a full time full-stack web developer to join the team at our Knaresborough office.

Read more