It was only a matter of time before Samsung Pay became a reality given the Korean giant’s NFC-ready devices, recent acquisition of LoopPay and its penchant for one-upping Apple.
Announced today, the system will allow Samsung users to make purchases via the Samsung Pay app just by swiping up from the bezel, choosing their preferred card and verifying with their fingerprint. Tap the device to the point-of-sales (POS) machines and that’s the purchase completed. Isn’t that the same as Apple, you ask? Well, not really.
While Apple uses only NFC for their payment system, Samsung employs that and a little something else called Magnetic Secure Transmission. Why is that significant? Well, this new technology means that Samsung Pay will also work with POS terminals that only support traditional magnetic strip (the majority of them at the moment). This would technically make for faster adoption by mainstream merchants as they wouldn’t have to install new machines.
To boot, Samsung is already working with major credit card names such as Visa and MasterCard, and in talks with American Express and Citi, among others, to make sure that every card you could possibly have is accepted and payments are as secure as possible. In case you were wondering, Samsung Pay will not keep any of your account numbers on your device, so don’t worry about people stealing your data with your phone.
Watch out for it this coming summer, when it will be rolled out in the US and Korea first. If you’re in another part of the world, you’ll have to wait a wee bit longer before you can start depleting your bank account with a tap.
Update 13/08/15: Samsung Pay will launch in Korea on 20 August, and the US on 28 September. Selected users will be able join public beta testing on 28 August, and the service will launch in the UK, Spain and China too, though there are no specific dates as of yet.