Samsung Pay has arrived

By Nicole Miskelly | 2 March 2015

Samsung is set to reveal Samsung Pay this week, a collaboration with MasterCard and Visa which sees the Korean firm stake its claim in the mobile payments market.

Samsung Pay, which is similar to existing mobile payments systems that allow users of a particular mobile phone to make in-store transactions, enables those with a MasterCard and a new Samsung Galaxy S6 to make transactions with their mobile phone.

The major difference between Samsung Pay and other rivals such as Google Wallet and Apple Pay is its compatibility with older magnetic strip card terminals and the near-field communications technology (NFC) used by Apple and Google.  Samsung’s recent acquisition of American start-up LoopPay, has enabled them to access technology that works in 90 per cent of existing point-of-sale (POS) terminals.

“This is an exciting time for payments. As consumers are increasingly relying on their mobile devices in their everyday lives, we are excited to work with an industry leader like Samsung to deliver new payment options to our cardholders around the world,” said Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer, MasterCard.

Due to be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, along with the new Galaxy S6 handset, Samsung Pay requires special hardware which is incorporated into the S6 and isn’t present on previous models.The new service will go live this summer and Samsung is already in talks to also support American Express, Bank of America, Citi Bank and J.P Morgan.

At the Mobile World Congress last year, Samsung announced their collaboration with PayPal to build their payment technology into the Samsung Galaxy S5 to enable users to authenticate inline and in-store payments using the phone’s fingerprint scanner. The Guardian reports that before these announcements, Samsung phones with NFC were also compatible with Google Wallet.

The latest announcement by Samsung follows Apple into the mobile payments markets and Samsung Pay may prove to be popular with both Samsung S6 users and some retailers who were sceptical of Apple Pay because it required the installation of new NFC compatible card payment terminals. 

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