Smartphone manufacturers have made mobile payment options a continually growing market. This is in an effort to replace the conventional way of making payments which is money in your wallet with smartphone capabilities. Most OEMs offer similar set of features, with the likes of Android Pay and Apple Pay making use of NFC standard as a means of communicating with payments terminals. This often requires the hardware upgrades by retailers to enable wireless payments.

Samsung has acknowledged the importance of providing this kind of support while voiding the need for retailers spend huge amounts in upgrading their hardware. This the OEM has done by approaching mobile payments differently, by accommodating all that Android Pay has to offer, as well as offering its own added support. In contrast to the current mobile payment systems available, Samsung Pay does not only support NFC but is also features Magnetic Secure Transmission support, this means that it is capable of working with every payment terminal that is able to accept payments that are contactless or the traditional method of card wiping through a reader to authorize payments.

But the real question is, what is Samsung Pay? How does it function? And can you really use it? Are their banks that support it and does the MST really work or it is just another marketing gimmick?

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Samsung Pay is Samsung’s mobile payment solution. The platform allows you to make food and service purchases with just a wave of your Samsung device near a cash till rather than swiping a card, handing out your payment info or reaching out for your physical wallet. It also allows you to save your debit, credit and loyalty card on your mobile wallet. Samsung Pay has been active for several months in the US and South Korea, but Samsung has announced that it will soon make its way to the UK. The payment system is currently only compatible with the latest Galaxy devices including the Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S7, the Galaxy S6, S6 edge+,S6 edge, S6 Active, and the Galaxy Note 5.

All you simply have to do, is on a compatible Android phone, install the Samsung Pay app, have the all the cards and banks accounts you need registered and it will starting making payments directly through these selected sources.

How Samsung Pay Works

Whenever you need to make a payment, whip out your Samsung Pay device and bring it next to a card reader. Unlike for an iPhone device or Apple Pay, you will not see a payment confirmation screen automatically appear. Samsung says this is an easier way of ensuring that users don’t make any accidental purchases. Instead, when your phone is raised near a payment terminal, you will have to swipe up from the bottom of the display, (either on from your device’s home screen or when its screen is off) to enable Samsung Pay and your default card will automatically pop up. You will then have to confirm the payment through biometric/ fingerprint authorization.

The Difference between MTS and NFC

Samsung Pay uses two technologies, one that most people are familiar with is the NFC, Near Field Communication and the other one is Magnetic Secure Transmission or MTS. Both of these technologies let you transmit the data on your credit card.

While NFC makes use of radio frequencies for data transmission, MTC employs magnetic technology. This means that aside from having an NFC chipset, devices that are compatible with Samsung Pay are also equipped with a special wire that allows the transfer of any MTS transmission to a card reader that is magnetic. So Samsung Pay can used at almost any payment terminal capable of accepting swiping of cards even without the need of literally swiping your phone. Just hold your Samsung Pay compatible device near a magnetic card scanner and the built-in MTS wire will transmit you credit card data just as magnetic strip found at the back on the physical card would normally do.

Where can Samsung Pay be used?

Samsung Pay accomodates both Mastercard and Visa cards from major banks such as American Express, Bank of America, US Bank, Citi, PNC and Chase, with more institutions expected to be added in the future.

Thanks to Samsung Pay’s MTS support, it has a clear advantage over Google Wallet and Apple Pay mobile payment systems. Though NFC is a growing technology, most retailers simply lack terminals that actually support it. On the other hand, MTS is supported by virtually any merchant. Currently only around 800,000 stores in the US region support Apple Pay with the inclusion of big chains such as Walgreens, McDonalds, Subway among others.

But when in Samsung Pay’s case which has MST support, it is possible that it will have support at all of these major stores and a million others. It is comforting to know that Samsung Pay has backward compatibility, in that it also sends payment information to traditional payment terminals in stores with support for the old-fashioned magnetic strip.

What are your thoughts on Samsung Pay? Lets us know in the comments.

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