You'll soon be able to put Samsung in your wallet. Samsung Money -- a new cash management service offered by Samsung, SoFi and Mastercard -- is set to launch later this summer. Announced in May, the service will be mostly virtual, though it will feature a physical card with no numbers, just like the Apple Card. But there are still lots of details we don't know about Samsung Money -- including exactly when it will launch, what it will look like and specific details on how the rewards component will work.
But the industry will be watching closely. Checking and savings accounts and credit cards have long been the province of big financial institutions such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo and American Express. But following Apple's foray into finance with the Apple Card, more traditionally tech-focused companies are pivoting into finance. And now comes Samsung -- one of the largest companies in the world, with enough clout and reach to have an immediate impact.
Samsung Money is an extension of Samsung Pay, which launched in 2015. Let's take a look at how the service looks today -- and how it compares to what you get with the Apple Card.
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Samsung Money: When it's coming, what it is and how it works
Due to be released later this summer, Samsung Money is a debit account that will be available exclusively on Samsung-compatible devices. At first, it will be available only in the US.
It's a cash account that has a virtual and physical debit card, similar to a bank account at a traditional institution. Like the Apple Card, Samsung's card won't display a number, expiration date or security code. Rather, those details will be digitally encoded on it in an effort to enhance security.
Aside from foreign transactions and cash withdrawals in a foreign currency, the card won't subject holders to any fees -- including overdraft or transfer fees. If you withdraw money from one of the 55,000 ATMs in companies' network in the US, SoFi will reimburse the fees.
To fund your Samsung Money account, you'll be able to initiate a balance transfer through another bank account or direct deposit. But there's no way to deposit physical cash to the account. You can earn rewards for every transaction you use through Samsung Money and Samsung Pay, plus a 0.2% annual percentage yield.
Apple Card: What it is and how it works
The Apple Card launched in 2019. It has both a physical and digital component; there's a sleek black credit card, without any numbers on it, for your wallet -- and a digital version for your iPhone's Wallet app. When you pay with Apple Pay, you can choose to pay with your Apple Card just like you would any other credit or debit card.
It offers 1% cash back on transactions made with the physical card, 2% back on purchases made through the tap-to-pay mobile payment system and 3% back on transactions with select vendors including Uber and, of course, Apple.
Apple has partnered with Goldman Sachs on the initiative and you can apply right on your iPhone -- which you'll need to have since the Apple Wallet is an iOS exclusive. You also need to be at least 18 years old, live in the US and have a sufficiently clean credit history.
Samsung Money vs. Apple Card: At a glance
Foreign currency and purchases
Yes, earn 1% to 3%
Can be used internationally
Yes, for a fee
12.99% to 23.99%
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Samsung Money vs. Apple Card: The big differences
On the surface, Samsung Money and the Apple Card look similar. They offer digital capabilities and physical cards with no account numbers, expiration dates or security codes displayed. Despite the surface similarities, however, there are some significant differences:
- Debit card vs. credit card: Samsung Money gives you a debit card, which means you can only spend against your cash balance. The Apple Card is a credit card, which provides you with a credit limit and charges you interest for balances that are carried over.
- Eligibility requirements: The Apple Card is available exclusively to adults that own an iPhone (and who pass a credit check). Samsung Money by SoFi is exclusive to owners of Samsung-compatible devices.
- Rewards: Samsung Money offers a 0.2% annual percentage yield on your cash as well as additional rewards for every Samsung Money and Samsung Pay transaction. The Apple Card offers 1% to 3% cash back on all purchases.
- Fees: There are no fees with the Apple Card. There are some fees with Samsung Money -- but, so far as we know, only on foreign purchases. You can use the Apple Card internationally for free. Samsung Money card will charge fees for international use.
Read more: I used the Apple Card for three months. Here's what I think of it now