Samsung reveals Samsung Pay, plans to be bigger and better than Apple Pay

2 Mar 2015

Samsung is about to interrupt Apple’s success at mobile payments via Apple Pay with the Samsung Pay platform, unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last night.

Samsung, which claims to have made mobile payments universal, has partnered with key financial partners globally, including American Express, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and U.S. Bank to name but a few.

Samsung Mobile’s CEO JK Shin describes the Samsung Pay platform as part of Samsung’s push to make life easier, simpler and more productive for people.

“Samsung Pay will reinvent how people pay for goods and services and transform how they use their smartphones,” Shin said.

“The secure and simple payment process, coupled with our robust partner network, makes Samsung Pay a truly game-changing service that will bring value to consumers and our partners in the ecosystem.”

He said that Samsung Pay has the potential of being accepted at approximately 30m merchant locations worldwide.

Pay anywhere

Speaking at Samsung’s Unpacked event in Barcelona last night, Samsung’s chief of strategy Justin Dennison explained that the key to the plan is Samsung’s Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology.

Effectively this means any merchant in the world who currently can accept magnetic strip payments will be able to accept payments from Samsung devices like the new S6 and S6 Edge devices.

“We waited until the technology was right,” Dennison said. Universal acceptance is critical. NFC is not universally accepted and in the US only 10pc of merchants accept NFC.

“Samsung Pay will allow you to use your Samsung phone to pay anywhere in the world that accepts debit cards, credit cards and NFC.

“Our MST technology solves the acceptance problem, even when the merchant uses only magnetic stripe systems.”

Dennison said that tokenisation will be a key feature in Samsung Pay’s security and said no data about transactions is stored on the device, with unique codes created for individual transactions.

He said that in going head-to-head with Apple Pay, Samsung made a point of ensuring Visa, MasterCard, City and Chase and a slew of other global financial players were on side.

“Samsung Pay will be accepted by more merchants than any other offering.

“That’s what we mean by getting mobile payments right.

“By creating a next level processor, the best all round display, a powerful battery for charging and a convenient mobile payments platform, that’s what we mean by raising the bar,” Dennison said at the unveiling of the new S6 and S6 Edge smartphones.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years