The first major challenge to Apple Pay is now here (I’m not counting the Google Wallet as it predates Apple Pay). While I hate the name (seriously Samsung? You accuse Apple of copying you all the time), there is a very cool technology (Thanks LoopPay) that allows for some backwards compatibility that is not present with Apple Pay. These features are part of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Couple of key highlights:

Samsung Galaxy/Edge

Samsung Galaxy/Edge

  • There are two method of payment, Contactless EMV using Near Field Communications (NFC) and Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST).
  • MST is backwards compatible with (most) existing terminals and will transmit payment information by creating a field that the magnetic stripe reader can interpret. As far as the terminal is concerned, you just swiped the card. This means that Samsung Pay is much more widely accepted than Apple Pay.
  • The information transmitted via Samsung Pay is cloud-based, however, an internet connection IS NOT required to make a payment. What IS required is that the device is able to check back in with Samsung Pay HQ periodically to ensure the data on the device is up to date (suggest daily).
  • Tokens are used, just like Apple Pay.
  • Samsung Pay works with Debit!
  • It is possible to register one card with multiple devices. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I would hope that if a card is registered to another device, some kind of push alert equivalent would tell me this happened.
  • Samsung Pay does NOT require you to use your fingerprint. You can use a four digit PIN instead to activate the payment.
  • Terminals that are EMV Chip (dip) only will not be able to take advantage of Samsung Pay MST. Apparently automated fuel dispensers may have too much shielding for the MST piece to work properly.

What are your experiences with it? Put them in the comments below.

I’m also planning on being in Vancouver for the community meetings. I will see you there!

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