Should credit unions go with Android or Apple Pay?

by: Kim Velten

It’s been almost a full year since Apple Pay rolled out, and after a slow start, it’s starting to go full steam ahead. Every day you are hearing reports about the few thousands of card issuers who are now on board, offering Apple Pay-compatible debit and credit cards. And despite our industry’s concerns that we would be left behind, that list includes number of credit unions.

Yet with all of the virtual card payment systems, such as Google Wallet (soon to be called Android Pay), LoopPay and Softcard, the water is getting mucky and it’s becoming more difficult to determine which, if any, mobile payment system to sign up with. It’s easy to jump on the fastest train around (which happens to be Apple right now), but we want to slow down and take a look at what the two biggest — Android and Apple — actually have to offer. How do these two compare, shall we say, apples to apples? Is it worth the wait for Android Pay coming out in a couple months, or should you nab your piece of the Apple Pay pie now?

Before we dive in, it must be said that despite hours of searching, we’ve come up with zip on how the integration process works, i.e., which one is the cheapest and easiest to integrate at your CU. We have learned a lot about the pros and cons of each, and when it comes down to it, which one (if both isn’t an option right now) credit unions should go for.

Which is most secure?

This day in age, when financial institutions are at the whim of retail hacks and are often the ones paying for the inevitable fraudulent charges, both systems offer something akin to the new EMV chip — but go one step further. They use a technology called “Tokenization” that generates a unique code for each transaction. Only that code is stored in retail chains, so no longer will card numbers or any other personal information be passed and stored in the purchase process. And the information can’t be “backhacked” or found by retracing the token’s steps.

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