Samsung Pay coming soon with non-NFC support

Are you a retailer with a retail outlet or trade counter? Have you had anyone ask you if they can pay with Apple Pay yet?

Not having an iPhone, I’m never going to use Apple Pay but I did see someone use it in Costa this week. They asked the assistant how it worked nervously waving their mobile over the credit card terminal and the surprise on their face was a picture when it worked.

Apple Pay has two major flaws however – It’s limited to people that have an Apple device and it’s limited to use with retailers who support NFC.

SamsungSamsung Pay which has just launched for customers in South Korea, Samsungs home territory, has a solution for the NFC requirement. Samsung Pay will be supported on the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and the new S6 Edge Plus. It’ll also be supported on the new Galaxy Note 5 but currently it appears that the Note 5 isn’t coming to the UK this year.

Latest phone launches aside, Samsung Pay is launching in the US at the end of September and it’s expected to roll out to the UK and China soon after.

Samsung Pay will of course support (Near Field Communication) NFC, but for the many retailers who rely on Chip & PIN Samsung have managed to use electronic signals produced by the phone to trick the card reader into thinking it has received a magnetic stripe card swipe. This means that it’ll work with just about any card reader in the country. The technology is called Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) and comes from Samsung’s acquisition of LoopPay in February this year.

Samsung Pay, like Apple Pay, will be limited to purchases of £20 or under, although that limit is due to rise to £30 later this Autumn.

The one remaining question is will retailers be equally willing to put up signage to promote Samsung Pay as they are Apple Pay? Apple is a phenomenon with an incredibly loyal following and whilst I love Samsung phones I don’t see the same hysteria about them that comes with every latest iPhone launch.