Why is Samsung Pay is so great?

Samsung’s new mobile payments service is hot to trot with a unique feature that puts its competition behind the curve.

But before we get into Samsung Pay, here’s a brief history lesson on the recent happenings in mobile payments.

Apple made its first début to the mobile payments world in 2015 with a huge push into the space followed shortly after by new announcements by Google and Android Pay.

Despite these major players entering the market, mobile payments still hasn’t taken off in the United States. This is largely in part due to the mass majority of merchants not having Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled terminals and slow consumer adoption.

So what makes Samsung Pay so special, and how does it hold an edge over its competition?

Last February, Samsung purchased LoopPay, which developed a clever piece of technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST).

MST let’s you pay at almost any terminal because it mimics swipe and sign technology. It’s a tiny coil that transfers the same magnetic code that traditional card readers read from your credit card when you swipe.

This magnetic transfer also maintains security integrity and uses tokenization to keep your information safe and secure. When you use MST, a temporary credit card that Visa or Mastercard creates is used and all your information is stored on a “trusted execution environment”. This keeps all information safe from any app that might want to access it, which is very similar to how Apple Pay works.

In addition to Magnetic Secure Transmission, Samsung Pay also works with NFC just like Apple does. But, as mentioned before, not every terminal in the United Sates is equipped for NFC, so there’s a safe bet that with Samsung Pay you’ll be able to pay with your phone at most businesses. Samsung Pay also allows these current Samsung devices to store loyalty cards and gift cards.

So how does Samsung Pay work?

To use this awesome technology, you swipe up with your finger from the bottom of your Samsung screen. Then, a credit card will pop up where you can choose from your selection of credit, loyalty or gift cards where you unlock the card with your fingerprint.
When the card is unlocked you may pay with MST by holding the phone near the slot where you would traditionally swipe your credit card or you also have the option to pay with NFC just as you would with Apple Pay or Android Pay.

Best of all, Samsung was clever to equip most of its newer devices including the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, and Note 5.

Something that makes Samsung Pay especially unique is it works when the phone is off! Finally, another feature that sets this technology apart is that it needs to be initiated by the user first where as the competition will begin the payments process when NFC is detected.

The only drawback that we have seen from this brilliant piece of technology is that MST doesn’t work at terminals that require some kind of physical trigger to activate the card reader. These include gas pumps and ATMS.

So, when can I start using Samsung Pay?

Samsung Pay has already launched its Samsung Pay beta program and expects to launch to the public by the end of September.

If you have a Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge + or Galaxy Note 5 and you’re interested in joining the beta program here’s how:

Sign up for a Samsung Account if you don’t already have one.

Ensure you are connected to one of the following carriers: T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Sprint or AT&T.

Use one of these select Visa or MasterCard credit cards from Bank of America, or U.S. Bank indicated on Samsung’s website.

Sign up for the beta here and follow the next steps.

Happy Mobile Payments!

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