Samsung Pay vs Apple Pay: Which is better?

Plus, we compare the new Samsung S9 and the iPhone X on price, performance and function

NAB has announced a partnership with Samsung to offer NAB customers the ability to use contactless payment on their phones — making Samsung Pay, which launched in 2015, the first digital wallet service to have all four of the Big Banks on board.

“We know Australians increasingly want to pay for their purchases quickly and conveniently. The growth in ‘tap and pay’, and take up of NAB Pay since we launched it two years ago, has been remarkable,” said NAB Executive General Manager of Consumer Lending, Angus Gilfillan.

“By adding Samsung Pay, we’re giving our customers more choice in digital wallets.”

With Apple Pay only supported by ANZ currently — are you really better off with an iPhone?

The TODAY Show chatted to tech expert Trevor Long about what the new partnership means, and whether consumers should choose Samsung over Apple.

TODAY: What does this move mean for customers? 

LONG: It means finally NAB customers can use the full integrated digital payment system if they own a recent model Samsung phone – until now they’ve been left in the digital dark, so there’s no need to take your card with you any more, it can be in your phone, which we all carry around with us almost 24/7 anyway.

TODAY: Samsung Pay isn’t alone, Apple also has a digital wallet option. How does it differ to Samsung’s?

LONG: Technically they are quite similar. However, the banks took ACCC action against Apple to try and work together to negotiate with Apple to get access to Apple Pay, so there is ONLY one major bank — that’s ANZ — that is using Apple Pay, so Samsung is really kicking ahead here with all the major banks on-board.

TODAY: Are there any other reasons you’d be better off with Samsung? 

LONG: Right now, they probably have the best smartphone camera on the market. This is the space where Apple and Samsung, let alone all the other companies, are competing the most. Samsung’s latest S9 handsets have an amazing camera, but for the average photographer it really is hard to tell one from the other.

TODAY: These two companies dominate the mobile space — is Samsung catching Apple? 

LONG: In fact Samsung sell more phones than Apple each year — though it’s a very tight race. Head-to-head on their main devices — the iPhone and Galaxy S  — it’s almost impossible to split them. Given there are so many “upstarts” out there, its remarkable Samsung has maintained their market share as so many others use the same or similar operating system.

TODAY: What is one reason to buy Apple and one reason to buy Samsung?

Such a tough thing, because it’s so very personal. Apple really does have the best app ecosystem, so many apps, such high quality, and their devices are utterly simple to use and have great support. Samsung build an amazing phone, which goes head to head with Apple on almost every single feature. and in almost all cases, they are marginally cheaper too!


APPLE PAY: Apple Pay launched in 2013 ahead of any of the other digital wallets and is supported by dozens of banks and card issuers in Australia — including ANZ, ING and Bank Of Australia. However, ANZ is the only one of the Big Four banks that currently supports Apple Pay.

Here’s what — according to Apple — you need to use Apple Pay:

  • Your eligible device
  • A supported card from a participating card issuer
  • The latest version of iOS, watchOS, or macOS
  • An Apple ID signed in to iCloud

You can pay in store, on apps and on Safari using either your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad or Macbook Pro. Find out more here.

SAMSUNG PAY: Samsung Pay is available on 11 of the brand’s phones as well as their Gear S2, Gear S3 and Gear Sport wearables — and although it launched in 2015, it is now supported by all of the Big Four banks.

Samsung Pay enables users to make in-store contactless payments using a compatible Samsung device. Samsung Pay’s main feature is its NFC payments capability.

Find out more about how it works here.


The iPhone X was launched in November 2017 –  and while customers queued for days in the US, the reaction was a little more muted in Australia, with modest lines reported at Sydney’s Apple store.

A few months later, the Samsung S9 was the star of the Mobile World Congress, where the 5.8-inch S9 and 6.2-inch S9+ versions of the new model were launched in February this year — and were available from March 16.

9Saver spoke to Joe Hanlon from WhistleOut* to get a quick lowdown on which phone is best for what:

Samsung S9 and S9+

Key features:

Dual Aperture Camera (S9 Plus only) with super-slow mo and bokeh Filters, Augmented Reality Emojis, Immersive viewing, Stereo Speakers Tuned by AKG, Multi-dimensional Sound by Dolby Atmos Technology, Water and Dust Resistance.

Cost to buy outright:

Samsung Galaxy S9 (64GB): $1,199
Samsung Galaxy S9 (256GB): $1,349
Samsung Galaxy S9+ (64GB): $1,349
Samsung Galaxy S9+ (256GB): $1,499

Cost on a plan:

From $63/month for Unlimited calls & texts and 2GB of data on the S9 (64GB)*
From $67/month for Unlimited calls & texts and 2GB of data on the S9 (256GB)*
From $67/month for Unlimited calls & texts and 2GB of data on the S9+ (64GB)*
From $71/month for Unlimited calls & texts and 2GB of data on the S9+ (256GB)*

iPhone X

Key features:

5.8‑inch Super Retina screen, The first OLED screen with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, TrueDepth Camera — including sensors that enable Face ID, surgical‑grade stainless steel, wireless charging, water and dust resistance, animoji capabilty.

Cost to buy outright:

iPhone X (64GB): $1,579
iPhone X (256GB): $1,829

Cost on a plan:

From $71/month for Unlimited calls & texts and 2GB data on the iPhone X (64GB)*
From $73.60/month for Unlimited calls & texts and 2GB data on the iPhone X (256GB)*

* In highlighting particular offers we are not making specific recommendations as this article does not cover all available products and may not compare all features relevant to you. Any advice provided is general in nature and does not take account of your needs, objectives or financial situation. Individuals should consider their own circumstances, and if in doubt seek appropriate advice, before proceeding.

9Saver Partner offers WhistleOut Samsung S9 3GB Plans