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Contactless payment apps offer a safe, convenient way to pay by smartphone. For non-iPhone users, there are two major players in this space—Samsung Pay and Google Pay. 

In this article, we’ll list the features of and differences between Samsung Pay and Google Pay and describe which mobile payment app is most worth using. 

Table of Contents

What Is Google Pay?

Google Pay, formerly known as Android Pay, is a mobile payment app that you can use to make purchases, as well as send and receive money. To use it, all you have to do is unlock the phone and tap it against the contactless payment terminal. 

Here are the features of Google Pay:

Wide availability. Google Pay is available in 42 countries which is second only to Apple Pay.

Peer-to-peer payments. Easily send and receive money from your friends and family with Google Pay Send. All you need is an email address. However, P2P does come with added fees, and the service is currently only available in the US. 

Wide support for credit and debit cards. Google Pay supports most major credit cards and payment services, including American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa, and AMEX. It also supports most major banks – check the list on Google’s support page. Google Pay also makes it possible to pay via PayPal.

Google Wallet stores your passes and cards. Google Pay allows you to store loyalty, membership, and gift cards, as well as travel passes, tickets, and account cards in one place. 

Support for Wear OS smartwatches. You can install and use the Google Pay app via your Wear OS smartwatch. It just needs NFC (Near Field Communication) capabilities. 

Google Pay offers. You can opt-in to Google Pay rewards and receive exclusive offers, collectibles, promo codes, etc. 

Added security. Google Pay uses industry-standard tokenization and NFC technology to send encrypted data to merchants, making it more secure than traditional credit cards. The app also allows fingerprint scanning or facial recognition access, and there are limits to the amount that can be purchased or sent via the app.

Where Google Pay Falls Short

Google Pay is packed with features, and for most users, it is a perfectly suitable app. However, it has a few shortcomings, including:

Limited features outside of the US. P2P support is only available for users within the US, which is bad news for international users. 

Cluttered UI. The revamped Google Pay app has received substantial criticism for its confusing layout. Making payments is easy enough, but sorting through the cards in your digital wallet can be difficult. 

Google Pay is not always accepted. Though most stores now support Google Pay purchases, some do not. You still need to carry around a secondary payment method, which for some people, removes the entire point of having a contactless payment app in the first place. 

What Is Samsung Pay?

Samsung Pay is a convenient one-tap contactless payment and digital wallet app available to Samsung phone owners. A simple swipe up from the lock screen opens your payment options, allowing you to pay instantly. 

Recently, Samsung Pay has overtaken Google pay as the second-largest mobile payment app (behind Apple Pay, the most popular app). 

Features of Samsung Pay:

Availability in 29 countries. While this is fewer countries than Google Pay supports, the list is constantly growing. 

Support for most major credit and debit cards. Samsung Pay supports most major payment platforms, including all major credit card companies. The full list is on their support website. Samsung Pay also offers support for PayPal payments. 

Samsung Rewards. With Samsung Rewards, you can earn points for each purchase you make while using the app. These points can be redeemed to make purchases using the Samsung app (or on the Samsung website). 

Mobile wallet for cards and passes. Store and use gift cards, membership cards, and loyalty cards with the app by scanning the card’s barcode. Samsung Pay also allows you to create a digital wallet, including creating a verified Vaccine Pass from your vaccination documents. 

Compatible with Samsung smartwatches. Some Samsung Galaxy wearables support Samsung Pay, including the Gear S3, Galaxy Watch3, and Galaxy Watch Active2. 

Supports both NFC and MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission). MST technology allows your Android phone to communicate with older magnetic stripe card readers that require you to swipe a card. However, support for MST is being removed as of the Galaxy S21. 

Added security. Your Samsung Pay details are protected by Samsung Knox and tokenization. Like Google Pay, your card information isn’t sent to merchants. Further, Samsung Pay allows you to use Find My Mobile to remotely lock your account or remove the app from your mobile phone. The app also supports fingerprint and facial recognition authentication. 

Where Samsung Pay Needs Improvement

While Samsung Pay meets the major requirements of a contactless tap-as-you-go payment app, it has three significant drawbacks in functionality. 

Limited compatible smartphones. Samsung Pay is only available on Samsung smartphones and does not work on other Android models. If you decide to buy a non-Samsung device, you’ll have to set up Google Pay (or another alternative) as Samsung Pay won’t be available. Despite this limitation, Samsung Pay has more active users than Google Pay. 

Samsung Pay vs. Google Pay: Which is Better?

Samsung Pay and Google Pay are similar in terms of the service they provide and payment methods they support (including online payments). Still, Google Pay supports more devices and is available in more countries. 

The main reason to choose Samsung Pay is if your area still mainly uses MST terminals. In that case, you won’t run into the issue of being unable to pay with Google Pay. However, with NFC technology becoming more popular (and Samsung withdrawing support for this), it isn’t a deciding factor. 

Google Pay offers peer-to-peer payments in the US, which can be helpful in many situations and helps to cut down on the number of apps you need. This is possible with Samsung, but you need to sign-up for Samsung Pay Cash as well. 

Another major reason to choose either app is the other accessories you own. For example, if you have a Samsung smartwatch, you’re better off going with Samsung Pay. 

Which Should You Choose? 

Both Google Pay and Samsung Pay are great choices if you want to move into the world of all-in-one contactless payment and card wallet apps. 

Since the two apps are so similar, we recommend installing both (they’re both free to set up) and trying them out. This way, you’ll get a feel for each, and you can decide on the app which fits your preferences. 

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How To Set Up And Use Samsung Wallet (Samsung Pay)

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Smartphones have replaced plenty of gadgets and accessories, including our wallets. You can carry your cards and cash with a good wallet case for your phone or use your phone to make payments with apps like Google Pay. Samsung has its own payment solution if you have a Samsung smartphone called Samsung Wallet (formerly Samsung Pay). Here’s how to set up and use Samsung Wallet or Samsung Pay.


Samsung Wallet combines Samsung Pay and Samsung Pass and adds many more features. You can use Wallet to make mobile payments using NFC after you add and save your cards on the app. If quick access is enabled, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to launch the app and hold the phone close to an NFC-enabled terminal to complete payment. Wallet lets you also add medical information, features asset management, and the ability to add boarding passes, digital car keys, and digital home keys.


What is Samsung Wallet (Samsung Pay)?

What devices support Samsung Wallet?

How to set up Samsung Wallet on your device?

How to pay with Samsung Wallet (mobile and online)?

What is Samsung Wallet?

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Samsung Wallet is the company’s digital wallet solution available exclusively on Samsung smartphones and smartwatches. It’s similar to Apple Wallet and Google Wallet, and as the name suggests, it aims to be the digital equivalent of your physical wallet. Apart from storing and making payments online and at stores with credit and debit cards, you can save passwords, loyalty cards, boarding passes, medical information, and even digital car keys. You can also use the Wallet app to keep track of your portfolios, including cryptocurrency. The app will soon add support for driver’s licenses and student IDs as well.

Samsung Wallet vs Samsung Pay?

Samsung Pay is a mobile payment solution where you can use your saved cards to make payments at stores using your phone. Wallet essentially combines and replaces Samsung Pay and Samsung Pass. You can do so much more with Wallet instead of just mobile payments. While Samsung Wallet was initially only available in a few markets, it has expanded to 21 countries, effectively replacing Samsung Pay.

Your Samsung Pay app will automatically update to Samsung Wallet when available. Until then, Samsung smartphone owners in other markets can continue using Samsung Pay.

All Galaxy S phones, going back to the Galaxy S8 series.

All Galaxy Note phones, going back to the Galaxy Note 8.

All Samsung Galaxy Fold and Flip devices.

Galaxy A series: Galaxy A53, A52, A51, A50, A42, A32, A71, A70.

Remember that some older devices will still run Samsung Pay if the phone has Android 9 or above, but won’t be upgraded to Wallet when the new app is available in your region. You can also use Pay on Samsung smartwatches with NFC. Since June 2023, Samsung Pay is no longer available on non-Samsung phones. You cannot install the app from the Google Play Store now, and the service doesn’t work even if you already have the app installed.

How to set up Samsung Wallet or Samsung Pay on your device?

Add debit, credit, loyalty, and membership cards

Tap on + credit/debit cards on the Samsung Wallet home screen to add your cards. You can scan your card or tap Add using NFC or Add card manually. If your credit or debit card is NFC-enabled, hold the card to the back of the phone to automatically save the card information. Once the app scans the card, enter your name and card CVV, and tap Save. The card verification process (with your payment provider) may take up to five minutes.

Tap + memberships to add your loyalty cards. Go to Add memberships and find the store on the list. Scan the card’s bar code and enter the loyalty number manually. You can also tap Add a card not on the list and manually add the necessary details.

How to remove a card from Samsung Wallet

In the menu tab, tap on Payment cards, select the card you want to delete and tap on the three vertical dots icon to open more options. Tap Delete card, choose a reason and confirm your selection. You will need to enter your Wallet PIN or use biometrics to delete the card.

If your phone is missing or stolen, use Samsung’s Find My Mobile service from a computer or another phone and remotely lock or erase card information stored on Samsung Wallet. Open Find My Mobile, find your device, and select Lock. Remotely locking the phone will lock Samsung Wallet as well. In extreme cases, you can also tap Erase data to factory reset your phone remotely. If you aren’t able to access Find My Mobile to lock the phone, contact your card issuer immediately to cancel your card.

How to set up Samsung Pay on your Galaxy smartwatch?

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

You can set up Wallet on your smartwatch and make payments at any NFC-enabled terminal. Check out our complete guide on how to set up Samsung Wallet on your Galaxy smartwatch for step-by-step instructions.


Wallet or Pay should work with any NFC-enabled card reader. If Wallet isn’t explicitly mentioned, look for the NFC icon at the payment terminal. While the stores that accept Samsung Wallet are too many to list, the notable exception is Walmart, which doesn’t accept Wallet or Google Pay.

Samsung Wallet is an upgraded version of Samsung Pay. You will still get the same features and the ability to make payments with your phone, but Wallet has many other features.

Wallet works with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover cards issued by the majority of banks in the US. Check out the complete list of supported banks and credit unions here.

If your Samsung Wallet isn’t working, check that NFC is enabled on your device. The card verification process might also be an issue when you add a new card. If your card isn’t showing up, wait and try later. Contact your bank if you cannot add your card at all.

Samsung Pay 101: How To Pay With Your Phone

Android devices have the Google Pay service to facilitate paying with your phone, whereas iPhone has Apple Pay. On Samsung Galaxy phones, you get Samsung Pay too. What is Samsung Pay and how to use it to pay from your phone? Find the answer in this post.

Good to know: not sure whether Samsung Galaxy phones actually run Android? The answer is yes, but here are the differences.

What Is Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay is a contactless mobile payment system built right on your Samsung Galaxy phone or smartwatch. With Samsung Pay, you can pay at retail stores around the world with your Samsung phone using the credit or debit card details stored on it.

Samsung Pay is like a digital wallet where your phone acts as your card that you need to hold against the card machine to make payment at any merchant store. On top of credit and debit cards, Samsung Pay also lets you save gift, and membership cards on your phone. Earlier Samsung Pay was a separate app but now Samsung Pay and Pass services have been merged into the Samsung Wallet app.

To use Samsung Pay, you must save the card details in the Samsung Wallet app on your phone. You can then make payments without worrying about carrying the actual card with you.

Typically, with physical cards, you need to take the card out of the wallet, swipe it up on the machine, enter the card PIN, and then put it back in your wallet. Samsung Pay simplifies the entire process. Once Samsung Pay has been set up on your phone, all you need to do is hold the phone on top of the Point of Sale (POS) terminal or card machine and authenticate the card using a fingerprint sensor or Iris scanner of your phone.

Tip: learn all about the difference between Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and Apple Pay.

How Samsung Pay Works

Samsung Pay uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology of your phone to make payments at machines that support wireless technology. Your card details are transferred to an NFC-enabled payment terminal by placing your phone near to the machine.

However, in some regions like India, many merchants still have the traditional payment machines where you need to swipe the card in the machine. Samsung Pay works with those machines as well on some Samsung Galaxy phones.

Generally, Samsung Pay works at all places where you can swipe or tap a physical card.

Tip: check out other ways to use NFC on your phone.

What You Need to Use Samsung Pay

First of all, you will need a Samsung Galaxy phone that supports Samsung Pay. Essentially, all Samsung flagships and some mid-range models support Samsung Pay. You will also have to know the details of your credit, debit, gift, or membership card. Finally, you must have a card from a compatible bank. Check with your financial institution to see if they offer this option.

Image source: Pexels

The bottom line is that you don’t need to purchase anything to use Samsung Pay. You don’t even need to visit the bank. All the technology is present natively on your phone. You just need to register the cards once on your phone and you are good to go.

In a nutshell, to use Samsung Pay, you will need to:

Set up Samsung Pay on your Samsung phone.

Add your payment cards to Samsung Pay.

When you are ready to make a payment, open Samsung Wallet and select the card you wish to use.

Hold your Samsung phone near the contactless reader until you see a payment confirmation message.

How to Add Cards in Samsung Pay

Follow these steps to register a card in Samsung Pay on Samsung Wallet:

Open the Samsung Wallet app on your Samsung Galaxy phone. If you don’t see it, look for the Samsung Pay app. If either app isn’t available on your phone, update your phone’s software to the latest version.

You will be asked to sign in to your Samsung account in case you haven’t already done so. Enter your login details.

Note: Samsung doesn’t allow taking screenshots in the Samsung Wallet app.

Grant the necessary permission to the Samsung Wallet app and tap on the “Continue” button.

You will be asked to set up a verification method to use the Samsung Pay service. Select “Fingerprint” or “Wallet PIN.” If you select fingerprint, you will still need to set up a PIN.

Once the verification method is set up, you will be taken to the app’s home screen. Tap on the “Menu” tab at the bottom and select “Credit/debit cards.”

Tap on the “Add” (+) icon at the top.

The app will open the camera and ask you to point it toward your card. Your phone will proceed to scan the card details. Alternatively, tap on the “Add card” manually button to manually enter all the card details or press the “Add using NFC” button to automatically get card details by just touching the NFC-based card to the back of your phone.

Once the app detects the card details, you will be asked to enter the CVV code (3 or 4 digits) and cardholder name. Press the “Next” button.

The app will start validating your card and you will be asked to agree to the Terms and Conditions. Tap on “Agree.”

Finally, you will be asked to verify your card. For that, you can either choose to receive an SMS or call on the registered mobile number of your bank account. Enter the code to verify the card.

That’s it. The card will be successfully registered on your Samsung Galaxy phone. Similarly, you can add more cards to the Samsung Pay service.

Tip: make your home screen on your Samsung Galaxy phone stand out with these tips.

How to Use Samsung Pay to Make Payments

After you have registered at least one card in the Samsung Wallet app, you can use the Samsung Pay service to make payments at any retail store using your phone by following these steps:

Open the Samsung Wallet app on your phone. You can access it quickly by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.

Your default card will show up. In case you have multiple cards, swipe right or left to get to the preferred card.

Ask the cashier to enter the payment details on the machine.

Scan your fingerprint using the fingerprint sensor or enter the Wallet PIN on your phone.

Your phone will start looking for terminal or card machines. Touch the back of your phone to the machine to authorize the payment. You have 50 seconds to do so.

If you have the necessary funds in your account, your transaction will be successful and you will be notified about process being finalized.

Moreover, every transaction detail will be saved in the Samsung Wallet app which you can check as shown below.

Tip: learn what to do if you experience credit card fraud.

How to Check Previous Samsung Pay Transactions

To see your Samsung Pay transaction history in the Samsung Wallet app, follow these steps:

Open the Samsung Wallet app on your Samsung Galaxy phone.

Tap on the Menu tab at the bottom and go to “Credit/debit card.”

Tap on the card whose transaction history you want to check.

You will see the past transaction details under the “Recent transactions” section.

How to Delete a Card from Samsung Pay

To remove a saved card from Samsung Wallet, follow these steps:

Launch the Samsung Wallet app on your phone.

Tap on “Menu” tab followed by “Credit/debit cards.”

Tap on the card that you want to delete.

Press the three-dot icon at the top and select “Delete card” from the menu.

Tip: want to be less dependent on physical credit cards? Check out the best virtual credit card services.

Frequently Asked Questions What happens if you lose your Samsung Galaxy phone?

If you lose your phone where you have registered Samsung Pay service, your card details will remain safe and secure as the thief will need your fingerprint or Wallet PIN to authorize the payments. Moreover, if you lock your phone by using the Find My service, Samsung Wallet will be locked too.

How many cards can be registered in Samsung Pay?

You can add up to 10 payment cards in Samsung Pay.

What’s the difference between Samsung Pay and Samsung Wallet?

Earlier, Samsung had two different services to store important information. Samsung Pay is for credit, debit, and gift cards whereas Samsung Pass is for passwords, addresses, and similar information. Samsung Wallet replaces both these apps and combines the features offered by them in a single app. So you can now access Samsung Pay services and Samsung Pass service right from Samsung Wallet.

All screenshots by Mehvish Mushtaq

Mehvish Mushtaq

Mehvish is a tech lover from Kashmir. With a degree in computer engineering, she’s always been happy to help anyone who finds technology challenging. She’s been writing about technology for over six years, and her favorite topics include how-to guides, explainers, tips and tricks for Android, iOS/iPadOS, Windows, social media, and web apps.

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Samsung Updates Touchwiz With Samsung Pay, Live Stream App, And Sidesync For Mac

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Besides announcing two new phones today, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note 5, Samsung also brought a bunch of important software upgrades to its latest devies. Despite being the best-selling smartphone manufacturer, the South Korean company has traditionally lagged in software design, bucking Android’s interface for their proprietary TouchWiz. These new features, like the integration of mobile payment, live streaming, and improvements to SideSync, show that Samsung is looking to define itself as not only a smartphone manufacturer, but also a player in the software realm.

Although Samsung phones have supported mobile payments for years (since the S2 and first Note in 2011), it seems to be following in Apple’s mobile payment rebranding campaign with Samsung Pay. However, they’re taking a difference approach this time. The most frustrating thing about mobile payment is that it’s tough to gauge which stores use it—adoption isn’t high right now.

Samsung’s new mobile payment software, Samsung Pay. Samsung

But by using Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST), a tiny piece of hardware that sends the same signal as the magnetic strip on a credit card, Samsung is stressing that this card will work virtually anywhere. This technology also allows the S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, and Note 5 to store loyalty cards and gift cards as well. Samsung acquired LoopPay, who originally developed the wireless transmission system, in February. LoopPay bills itself as “the most accepted mobile wallet on the planet,” and Samsung believes that will give it the edge when it comes to making mobile payment viable and popular. Samsung Pay also works with NFC, and will work with American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.

Samsung Pay is secured by your fingerprint at the time of purchase, like Apple Pay, but it’s also secured on your card company’s side as well. The information that’s wireless sent to the card reader isn’t actually your card information, but a temporary card created by Visa or Mastercard, according to The Verge.

A large part of these upgrades also rest on Live Broadcast, a built-in live streaming function, which looks to battle apps like Periscope and Meerkat. The service streams the S6 Edge+ and Note 5’s video live to YouTube, which has been building out its own streaming capabilities. Live Broadcast can also stream to another Samsung phone, or a group of phones. Twitter’s live streaming app, Periscope, announced that they now have more than 10 million users, a considerable milestone for software that’s nearly four months old. However, baking this capability into Samsung’s operating system puts live streaming into the hands of more than 70 million phone users per quarter. Samsung doesn’t break down the numbers per phone, but if this becomes a universal feature and easier to use than Periscope or Meerkat, it could pose a real threat to existing streaming apps.

SideSync, the software that enables users to send texts and transfer files to a computer, is also getting an overhaul, most notably making it more compatible with every Windows 10 and Mac computer. This is one of the few features that Apple has excelled at ahead of Android—iMessage continuity is a cornerstone of a cohesive Mac experience, and Samsung is looking to bring that to their products. Users will be able to also answer calls on their computers, much like Apple’s Facetime.

SideSync, shown working with a Samsung laptop and the Galaxy S6 Edge+. Samsung

Samsung is also adding a slew of other tweaks, like improved image capture and better S-Pen functionality with the Note 5, which will all be available to the complete latest Galaxy line: the S6, S6 Edge and now the S6 Edge+ and Note 5. After seeming to neglect software for years, these upgrades mark Samsung’s move to offer a suite of useful, attractive, and excellent apps that can go head-to-head with Apple and even Android itself, not to mention the massive third-pary app ecosystem.

The two new phones will be available in the United States and Canada on August 21, and Samsung Pay will be available in the United States on September 28.

Alchemy Pay Ramps Bring Easy Onboarding And Pay

Alchemy Pay (ACH), one of the world’s leading crypto payment providers, has announced the forthcoming release of its ramps that will allow easy access to crypto and Web3 services to users all around the world. The ramps are easily integrated on platforms such as DeFi protocols, NFT marketplaces, and metaverse virtual worlds, and enable the direct purchase of crypto via credit and debit cards, mobile wallets, and bank transfers. Through its remittance partners, Alchemy Pay’s ramps also facilitate convenient offboarding from crypto to fiat with remittance capabilities to bank accounts in nearly 100 fiat currencies.

With its impressive network of global acquirers and remittance firms, Alchemy Pay now boasts over 300 fiat payment channels worldwide. Founded in Singapore in 2023, its strength in Southeast Asia is evidenced by its integration of countless popular local mobile wallets in the region where alternative payment methods and cryptocurrency are both experiencing the highest adoption rates globally. 

Alchemy Pay’s founding team’s experience in the traditional finance and fintech payments space has long enabled it to gain acquirers where its competitors have struggled. Over the past 12 months though, it has also formed strong partnerships and payment integrations with leading blockchain networks such as Polygon, Avalanche, Algorand, and VeChain. It also forged the creation of the Blockchain Infrastructure Alliance alongside these networks, and many more, to create synergies between members across all areas of blockchain technology.

As a result, the industry expects Alchemy Pay to integrate its crypto ramps on a large scale across multiple platforms and DApps in Q3 and Q4 this year. The ramps allow users to maintain custody of their funds while participating in Web3 DApps and services. The partnerships with leading security firms provide their ramps with the highest standards of fraud prevention, chargeback protection, and KYC and AML processes.

John Tan, CEO of Alchemy Pay, said, “For a long time, the gap between fiat and crypto has been the main obstacle to Web3 and crypto adoption. Direct fiat payments are crucial for bringing users into DApps. The ability to onboard users to platforms via a variety of global and local payments, and then offer the chance to cash out again makes for a seamless, user-friendly experience. We are expecting to make a huge impact on the Web3 movement with these ramps.”

The Singapore-based company launched its crypto acceptance system which is now used by over 2 million online and in-store merchants in 70+ countries. The system’s payment channels and remittance capabilities are now proving to be a solid foundation for the pivot to use for Alchemy Pay’s ramps.

About Alchemy Pay

Alchemy Pay is a payment solutions provider that seamlessly connects fiat and crypto economies for consumers, merchants, and developers. It provides merchants with convenient crypto acceptance and makes crypto and Web3 services highly accessible. Alchemy Pay is supported in 70+ countries with 300+ payment channels and has touchpoints with 2 million merchants. Its ramp plug-ins will be integrated onto Web3 and crypto platforms for D2C onboarding and offboarding. ACH is Alchemy Pay’s ERC20 utility token issued on the Ethereum blockchain.



Apple Pay Day: Experiences With Apple’s New Payment Service Mostly Positive

Apple Pay, which was unveiled to the world at the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, has officially launched in the U.S. today alongside iOS 8.1. Experiences with the service on its first day have been mixed, and notably, Eddy Cue this morning to acknowledged that in saying that Apple still has “a lot of work to do.” Some banks are requiring verification processes which are taking time, and some widespread credit card companies, like Discover, aren’t yet supported at all. But some experiences with Apple Pay have been seamless and it seems that, so far, the service is working as expected despite its slow roll-out.

Customers can use Apple pay at a wide variety of launch partners, including Aeropostale, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Foot Locker, Office Depot, Urban Outfitters, Apple’s own retail stores and many others. If you want to get your device set up to use the service, be sure to check out our guide to getting started with Apple Pay, and be sure to let us know what your experience has been so far. As for the rest of the internet, with the exception of some locations having employees who are simply uneducated about the service, it appears as if public opinion is fairly positive.

Piper Jaffray Apple analyst Gene Munster tested it out at a few locations and had this to say:

We tested Apple Pay at McDonald’s, Whole Foods, and Walgreens and were able to successfully compete our transaction at each location. We note that the McDonald’s and Whole Foods employees were aware of Apple Pay, but the Walgreens employee that helped us was not. We believe that stores depending on employee education at the local level might have varied experience across stores, but we expect participating store employees to all be up to speed after having Apple Pay for a month or two.

Walgreens uploaded a video showing off a demo of the service in one of its stores:

One experience at McDonalds got caught on video:

Another McDonalds experience was documented, in which one customer had an awkward encounter at the drive through:

Gizmodo gave the service what they called a “slightly rocky spin”:

Deciding to try our luck at Subway, we were met with a few “ums” and some confused looks when we asked about contactless payment. The store had just received the hardware that day, it seemed, and they were still getting the hang of things. After some discussion and deep study of the machine’s new instructions, the farthest we were able to get was bringing up a screen with a QR code—which is to say, not very far at all.

TechCrunch seems to have had a pretty good experience at Walgreens:

Holding my thumb to Touch ID and my phone to the payment terminal, it took about a second and a half to register at Walgreens and the same amount of time at McDonald’s. Don’t expect it to change the entire experience however: you still have to sign for the amount shown at the drug store and get a receipt to show to the cashier when picking up your order at a fast good joint.

Harry McCracken of Fast Company is going to try to use the service as his sole payment method for a week:

So in theory, I should be able to do this without major headaches or adjustments to my daily habits. We’ll see. I do reserve the right to let my wife pay for things if she happens to be around. And if the whole experiment is a fiasco, I will sheepishly terminate it before its scheduled conclusion next Sunday.

Reactions from Twitter users have been generally positive, but as I’ve experienced myself, Wells Fargo verification seems to be delayed:

Okay, just used #ApplePay. Simple. Tapped my #iPhone6Plus on the reader, scanned my thumb, done. Got an alert on my phone about my purchase.

— brettlarson (@brettlarson) October 20, 2014

so I can’t verify my @WellsFargo cards with #applepay through the verify app. So Frustrating!

— Will Lassalle (@wlassalle) October 20, 2014

So Panera manager “informs” me #ApplePay won’t work for another 2 weeks. I said fine and still paid with it. Faster than what they demo’ed.

— Super Tino (@supertino) October 20, 2014

Just used Apple Pay! It’s so cool, and easy to use! #ApplePay #Apple

— Wayne Gross Jr. (@campingsk8er) October 20, 2014

The service is already inspiring some Vines, too:

Here’s the Verge’s initial run thru

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

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