Samsung has officially lifted the curtain on “Samsung Pay” its new mobile payment solution, with which it hopes to take on Apple Pay.
The service will let consumers use their Samsung smartphones to pay for goods and services by using their phone’s NFC, much like a wireless credit or debit card, an on-screen barcode, and a (now) in-house technology called ‘Magnetic Secure Transmission’ or MST, which came as part of the company’s recent takeover of LoopPay.
The company clearly has Cupertino’s service in its sights, but Samsung’s joint has one major advantage over Apple’s increasingly popular offering; it can be used with regular, old fashioned machines, as well as the newer, NFC-enabled ones, which Samsung claim are still very much in the minority, even though it’s 2015.
MST, LoopPay’s tech which allows it to play nice with older ‘swipe’ machines, generates a dynamic magnetic field which can be read by the magnetic read head of regular card readers, provided the phone is within 3-inches of the terminal. The signal emulates the swipe, allowing the card reader to process the payment and, in the case of Samsung’s newest devices, the press of a finger or thumb onto their device’s fingerprint reader in advance secures the process further.
Samsung has partnered with Visa and Mastercard for the launch of Samsung Pay too, and the company hopes to add other well-known names to its list of partners in the near future, including Citi Bank and American Express, though the company has stopped short of listing any European partners, present or future, if indeed there are any.
Jim McCarthy, Visa’s Executive Vice President extolled the virtues of Samsung’s new system, saying “Combining Visa’s expertise in payment technology with Samsung’s leadership in creating innovative mobile experiences, gives more choice to financial institutions who want to enable their customers to pay by phone,”
“We are committed to making interactions easier in the financial lives of our customers,” said Brian Moynihan, CEO, Chairman and Director of Bank of America. “Samsung Pay is another significant move in that direction for our 17 million mobile customers.”
Samsung Pay will come pre-installed with the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge when they launch on the 10th April, but the service will initially be limited to North America and South Korea. Europe and China will, we’re told, come later – let’s hope it’s not too much later though, eh Samsung?