Samsung Pay debuts on the Galaxy S6/S6 Edge as Samsung’s answer to Apple Pay



This was expected. It was almost an obvious move after the company acquired LoopPay, a mobile payments startup that it had long had interest in. In collaboration with payments networks MasterCard and Visa and other financial partners like American Express, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and U.S. Bank. Samsung is looking at both the future and the present. Samsung Pay will be compatible with all the existing terminals be they NFC or magnetic stripe card-based. This is the strong selling point of the payments service unlike Apple Pay which strictly uses NFC. As long as you’re in a country where the service is on and your merchant has signed up for it, you’re good to go since they don’t need to purchase any additional hardware which would delay adoption.

Samsung Pay uses Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) to support legacy terminals that are still widespread and of course Near Field Communication on compatible terminals. Read on how MST works here.

To use Samsung Pay, users will need to add their card of choice using the Pay app. They can then access the card(s) they want to use for payment when at a terminal by swiping up on their Galaxy S6 from the bottom bezel then authenticating using the device’s fingerprint scanner and then tapping on the terminal. If it’s an NFC terminal then NFC comes to play else MSR takes charge. Security issues as a result of your sensitive data being captured won’t arise as Samsung is banking on its KNOX software and ARM’s TrustZone data isolation tech to encrypt and store the information on your device. Tokens are also in use so that random numbers are generated for each transaction so that them and not your confidential data are what is shared with the merchant’s terminals.

Samsung claims that its new service is readily accessible by over 30 million merchant locations worldwide. The service will be available in the United States and Samsung’s home turf, Korea at first with China and Europe being the next target markets.


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Emmanuel writes on mobile hardware, software and platforms.