Samsung Pay is a convenient mobile payment solution that allows you to make contactless payments using your phone or watch. It simplifies transactions by eliminating the need for physical credit or debit cards. What sets Samsung Pay apart from its competitors, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, is its magnetic secure transmission (MST) feature. With MST, you can make payments at older terminals that don’t support contactless payments. However, MST will no longer be available in the US starting in 2021, with the introduction of the Galaxy S21 phones. Let’s delve into everything you need to know about Samsung Pay.
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Samsung Pay’s Global Presence
Samsung Pay is available in 29 countries worldwide, including the US, UK, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, and many others.
Device and Compatibility Requirements
Samsung Pay works on various Galaxy phones, from the latest Galaxy S21 Ultra to the older Galaxy Note 5 from 2015. It’s also compatible with select smartwatches like the Galaxy Watch 3, Galaxy Watch Active 2, Gear S2, Gear S3, and Gear Sport. In the US, all major carriers, including AT&T, Cricket, MetroPCS, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and US Cellular, support Samsung Pay. To use Samsung Pay, you’ll need a Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express card. For a full list of supported banks and cards, refer to the chart below. Samsung Pay users can also apply for a debit card called Samsung Money, offered in partnership with personal finance company SoFi.
Where Can You Use Samsung Pay?
Samsung Pay is compatible with most point-of-sale systems, including NFC, magnetic stripe, and EMV terminals. You can use Samsung Pay at NFC terminals in major retailers like Trader Joe’s and Walgreens, with vendors using Square readers, and even at smaller stores with magnetic stripe readers. Samsung Pay is also accepted on various public transit systems worldwide, such as New York City’s MTA’s OMNY system and Portland’s TriMet. Additionally, certain Samsung apps allow you to make purchases using Samsung Pay, without the hassle of entering credit card details.
Setting Up Samsung Pay
To set up Samsung Pay, install the app and sign in with your Samsung account. If you haven’t set up a PIN, fingerprint, or iris scan, the app will prompt you to do so. You can easily add credit, debit, gift, or membership cards by scanning them with your phone’s camera. You also have the option to link your PayPal account. Samsung Pay verifies your cards with your bank, and you can confirm the verification via SMS, email, or phone call. You can add up to 10 cards to Samsung Pay.
How Does Samsung Pay Work?
Samsung Pay utilizes two technologies to enable payments: near-field communication (NFC) and magnetic secure transmission (MST). NFC allows for tap-to-pay transactions at contactless terminals, while MST simulates a magnetic strip when paying at older terminals. Samsung acquired mobile payment company LoopPay in 2015, which developed the MST technology now used in Samsung Pay. However, MST support will be phased out in new Galaxy phones released in the US starting with the Galaxy S21. Future devices will focus on NFC transactions, although users with compatible older Galaxy devices can continue to use Samsung Pay, including MST.
Making Payments with Samsung Pay
To make a payment using Samsung Pay, simply swipe up from the lock screen to access the Samsung Pay bar. Choose the card you wish to use and verify your identity using fingerprint, iris scan, or PIN. Then, tap the back of your phone against the payment terminal. If you’re making a payment with a debit card, you might also need to enter your card’s PIN on the terminal. Once the payment is complete, you’ll receive a notification confirming the merchant name and amount. Payments can also be made using Samsung Pay on compatible smartwatches.
Samsung Pay vs. Apple Pay and Google Pay
Samsung Pay stands out from Apple Pay and Google Pay in that it works with almost all payment terminals, not just those with NFC capabilities. Additionally, Samsung Pay offers a cashback feature, promotions, and exclusive rewards. Chase Pay users can link their digital wallet with Samsung Pay. While all three platforms allow peer-to-peer payments, Samsung Pay requires the use of Samsung Pay Cash, a prepaid debit card. Unfortunately, as of January 2021, Samsung no longer rewards users with Samsung Rewards points for every purchase. However, transactions made on Samsung.com, the Galaxy Store, and other Samsung purchases are still eligible for points.
Security and Card Replacement
Samsung Pay prioritizes security by using tokenization for transactions. It doesn’t store actual card numbers on the device. Instead, the phone sends a 16-digit token that represents the card number and a one-time code or cryptogram generated by the phone’s encryption key. In case of phone loss, payments cannot be made without fingerprint, PIN, or iris scan authorization. With Samsung’s Find My Mobile service, you can remotely erase card information stored on the phone. If you lose your physical card, Samsung Pay will generate a new account number once your bank issues a replacement card. Samsung Pay’s digital card information automatically updates when a new card is issued.
Using Samsung Pay Offline and During Travel
Samsung Pay can be used without a data connection. However, you’ll only be able to make ten payments without Wi-Fi or cellular data. An active internet connection is required to add a card and access transaction history. When traveling overseas, Samsung Pay should work with cards that are already accepted internationally. However, if you try to add a card while abroad, you may need to contact your bank for assistance.
Returns and Samsung Pay
Samsung Pay can be used for returns as well. To process a return, you may need to hold your phone against the payment terminal, just as you did during the initial transaction. Additionally, you might be asked to match the payment information on the receipt with the last four digits of your virtual card number, found in the Samsung Pay app.
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In conclusion, Samsung Pay provides a user-friendly and secure way to make mobile payments. Although the MST feature will no longer be supported in new Galaxy phones, Samsung Pay remains a reliable and widely accepted payment solution. With its global availability, broad compatibility, and convenient features, Samsung Pay is a valuable tool for effortless and secure digital transactions.