We knew it was coming eventually. In conjunction with the launch of its two new phablet entries, the Note 5 and S6 Edge+, Samsung announced that Samsung Pay is ready for prime time. And it’s aiming to succeed where Google Wallet has been struggling.
The big thing is that Samsung is touting that its mobile payment system will work “virtually anywhere”. Samsung Pay will utilize not only traditional NFC but also Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST). Samsung claims that it will work with most existing point-of-sale (POS) terminals used to read credit cards.
In contrast, Google Wallet transaction have solely relied that the merchant has a NFC-compatible payment system. Unfortunately, this has yet to be widely adopted.
[blockquote author=”InJong Rhee, EVP of Samsung Electronics”]We are partnering with card networks, issuers and acquirers, and Samsung Pay will also be the first to support contactless payment for store-branded credit cards. The list of partners will only grow.[/blockquote]
Samsung made a point of simplicity with using Samsung Pay. The feature is readily available on your phone for quick access. When you’re ready to make a payment, you will just simply swipe up and scan your fingerprint.
Your credit cards, reward cards, etc. will float on the screen, as if you had them in hand. Samsung also emphasized that the system is safe. Samsung KNOX uses tokenization along with the fingerprint authentication.
Samsung has made sure they have wide support in this venture. The partnership for Samsung Pay covers major credit card companies (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa) and banks (Bank of America, Chase, and U.S. Bank).
As far as availability, Samsung Pay will debut first in Korea on Aug. 20th, followed by the U.S. on Sept. 28th. Other markets include the U.K, Spain, and China, but no dates have been announced for those markets yet.
The newly launched Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note 5 will have Samsung Pay pre-loaded. But don’t worry if you have a Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge, a software upgrade in mid-August will bring you up to speed. If you’re antsy to try out the new system asap, Samsung has said that there will be beta trial from Aug. 25th for “select U.S. users”.
What are your impressions of Samsung Pay? Do you like what Samsung is trying to do or dislike the fragmentation in the mobile payment space?