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Samsung Pay

Guide to Samsung Pay

Victoria Russell
Written by  Victoria Russell
Updated: 28 Feb 2024

Samsung Pay is a feature of Samsung Wallet, which allows you to make contactless payments through Samsung devices

Tap into the future: understanding Samsung Pay

In an age where convenience is king, the way we manage and spend our money has transformed dramatically. Gone are the days of bulky wallets stuffed with cards and cash. Instead, the rise of digital wallets has made transactions quicker, simpler, and more secure. One such innovation is Samsung Pay, a mobile payment service that's part of the broader Samsung Wallet ecosystem. Launched in 2015 as a rival to Apple Pay, Samsung Pay has been giving users a seamless way to make purchases with just a tap of their Samsung devices.

The technology behind Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay leverages two main technologies to facilitate contactless payments: NFC and MST.

NFC: The contactless communication standard

Near Field Communication (NFC) is the backbone of modern contactless payment systems. It allows two devices to communicate when they're within 4cm of each other. This tech is what makes it possible to tap your phone at a checkout terminal and pay without ever swiping a card or exchanging cash.

MST: Bridging the gap with older terminals

Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) is Samsung Pay's ace in the hole. It emits a signal that mimics the magnetic stripe on traditional payment cards. This means that even if a retailer hasn't upgraded to the latest contactless payment terminals, you can still use Samsung Pay, making it incredibly versatile.

Setting Up Samsung Pay

On Your Smartphone

Getting started with Samsung Pay on your smartphone is a breeze. Dive into the 'Apps' section, sign in with your Samsung account, and choose a secure method like a fingerprint or PIN for verification. From there, you can add your credit and debit cards—up to 10 of them—and you're ready to go.

On Your Smartwatch

For those who prefer to keep their phone tucked away, Samsung Pay on your smartwatch is the perfect companion. Use the Galaxy Wearable app to import your cards, and after a quick verification, your wrist becomes your wallet.

Samsung Wallet: more than just payments

Samsung Wallet isn't just for payments. It's a digital wallet that can store loyalty cards and even act as your transport card for tap-and-go payments on services like Transport for London. Look for the contactless payment symbol, and you're good to go.

Security measures in Samsung Pay

When it comes to mobile payments, security is paramount. Samsung Wallet takes this seriously, offering:

  • Iris scanner: A futuristic way to authenticate using your eyes.

  • PIN verification: A tried-and-true method for securing payments.

  • Fingerprint verification: A quick and personal way to authenticate transactions.

Moreover, Samsung Pay uses tokenisation, creating a unique number for each transaction, which means your actual card number stays private. And if your smartphone goes missing, Samsung's got your back with the ability to issue a new Samsung Pay + number and block any unauthorised transactions.

Where can you use Samsung Pay?

Samsung Pay is widely accepted at locations that display the contactless logo. Thanks to MST technology, you can also use it with older card readers. It's compatible with a range of Samsung devices, including the Galaxy Note, S, A, and J series, as well as Gear S3, S2, and Gear Sport smartwatches.

Weighing the pros and cons

Samsung Pay offers a wealth of benefits:

  • Safe and secure: Multiple layers of security for peace of mind.

  • Beyond phones: Works with select Samsung smartwatches.

  • MST technology: Compatible with traditional card readers.

  • Convenience: Your wallet is now digital.

  • Loyalty cards: Store and use them all in one place.

However, it's not without its drawbacks:

  • Limited acceptance: Not all banks and retailers are on board yet.

  • Device restrictions: Only available on certain Samsung models.

Bank support and spending limits

In the UK, Samsung Pay is supported by banks like HSBC, Nationwide, Santander, American Express, Starling Bank, and Wise. While there's no specific limit for Samsung Pay itself, the merchant's limit—often £100 or more—may apply.