Rumors are buzzing around the internet this morning about Samsung extending its proprietary mobile payment system beyond its own hardware borders. Samsung Pay, the Korean company’s own addition to the contact-less electronic transaction game, has traditionally only been available on its recent flagship devices, such as the Galaxy S and Note series. However, this could all change in the near future.
Samsung Pay is unique because it primarily uses MST (magnetic secure transmission) to make payments at terminals, instead of NFC. This patented technology enables Samsung smartphones to make secure, encrypted payments anywhere a credit card can be swiped. Anywhere.
Sammy’s mobile payment app also allows users to use NFC at terminals where the latter tech is accepted. Such versatility gives users many opportunities to leave their wallets at home and simply tote their cell phones. Because of the patent, however, the technology is currently only available on Samsung flagship phones and the Gear S3 smartwatch.
If Samsung is sincere about its discussions for bringing its superior payment program to other smartphone manufacturers, it’s going to need to one-up Android Pay, which already works flawlessly, and automatically on other Google OS phones. Currently, Sammy has a rewards program to encourage users to use Samsung Pay, and it’s not half bad.
But Android Pay also has varying discounts and item rewards. It also allows you to load and keep gift cards from most retailers to use as you shop your normal locations. It even notifies you of the locations where you have gift cards saved to remind you and help you save money. Win-win.
My Galaxy S8 has both Android Pay and Samsung Pay. I use the latter because it uses MST, and works anywhere. If I was using any other phone, I would default to Android Pay for its simple user interface and Google integration.
The advantages that convince a non-Samsung user to adopt a Samsung payment platform over the stock option must be many. The best case scenario is Samsung permitting MST technology to be installed on competing OEM phones. The worst case scenario is that nobody will use Samsung Pay.
The challenge is gaining a user base. Can Samsung do it? We will see.