This story was originally published and last updated .
If you're less than excited to whip out our credit cards or touch a PIN pad at the store, you're not alone: contactless payments are on the rise in America, especially right now. You might have heard about one or both of the major contactless payment providers on Android, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, but you might be familiar with what makes each distinct. While both do offer the same basic tap-to-pay NFC functionality, there are some differences in their ease of use, support for alternate contactless payment standards, and in the apps themselves. Here's how to figure out which one is best for you.
If you frequently use your laptop with more than one external display, there's a feature called MST (or Multi-Stream Transport) that conveniently allows you to use just one cable to connect them all to your computer, rather than two or three. Up until now Chrome OS hasn't supported MST, but based on a recent commit to the Chromium Gerrit, that could change.
One of the best low-key benefits of Samsung's Galaxy flagships is Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) payments, which allow you to use your phone for contactless payments at most credit card readers, as opposed to the NFC-based payments used by other digital wallets that require an explicitly compatible terminal. Samsung and Chase are now teaming up to bring that MST convenience to the Chase Pay app. Of course, a Chase card could be used for MST Payments via Samsung Pay before, but now the Chase Pay app gets that same direct convenience.
Samsung Pay launched in South Korea back in 2015, then expanded into the US, China, and more for a total of 19 official markets before today. Now, Samsung adds number 20: Mexico. You may be thinking, "didn't that already happen?" Well, apparently the appearance of the landing page last November was not the full launch.
Samsung Pay has existed for a few years, but the company has been slow to roll out support in Canada. Only one bank has had Samsung Pay in Canada so far, but now a handful of others are joining the fun. This expansion also brings support for debit cards in addition to credit cards.
Samsung Pay started with support for a subset of credit and debit cards when it launched almost two years ago. Over time, Samsung added new cards and banks to the service. Today, it's adding something that isn't a card—PayPal accounts. Plug in your account, and you can pay with PayPal anywhere Samsung Pay is accepted.
Samsung has been slowly but steadily adding new markets to Samsung Pay, which is now supported in more than a dozen countries. That includes a few new ones today. Residents of Sweden (previously in beta) and the UAE can start making payments today. There's also early access (i.e. a beta) for Samsung Pay in Hong Kong and Switzerland.
Samsung has been steadily adding more countries to its list of supported Samsung Pay markets — we just saw India get added not too long ago. The contactless payment service functions like the Apple and Android counterparts, but adds in the benefit of being able to work with older terminals via Magnetic Secure Transmission, which is especially awesome here in the U.S. But now, Sweden is getting Sammy's payment solution. It should be noted, however, that this is in beta for now.