Samsung launched Samsung Pay at the 2015 Mobile World Congress alongside the Galaxy S6 family. Samsung Pay represents Samsung’s push into the consumer mobile payment system as the service may be used to pay for things via the onboard application. Currently, it is available on a number of high end Samsung Galaxy flagship devices such as the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note. Samsung have rolled out support for a number of other Samsung-branded devices, across a number of regions and covering more and more retailers although compared with Apple Pay and Android Pay, Samsung Pay has one very important advantage: it supports MST or Magnetic Secure Transaction. This allows the smartphone to emulate the magnetic strip on the back side of our plastic cards and so makes the service compatible with a much wider number of terminals. MST means that retailers won’t need to upgrade terminals to include NFC, Near Field Communications, which is the technology used behind contactless payment technology, which is already in wide scale use across Europe but does not yet have the same market penetration in the United States. Including MST technology into the Samsung Pay service allows customers to pay for products in a much wider range of locations compared with relying on a new NFC terminal.
Today’s story concerns the Regions Bank, commonly found in Southeast America. Samsung have announced that the bank is now supported by Samsung Pay, meaning customers can add their credit or debit cards to their smartphone. Unfortunately, Samsung have not announced any special offers or deals to encourage Regions Bank customers to adopt Samsung Pay, but should they do we will keep you informed.
Samsung are placing more and more emphasis on Samsung Pay in 2016. At the turn of the year, we heard stories that Samsung was retraining large numbers of staff in how to use the Samsung Pay service. We’ve seen senior management hold meetings with large numbers of financial institutions and listened to rumours that Samsung is preparing to enter the financial services industry in a more significant way. Regardless of Samsung’s intentions for the financial services, these meetings are at least in part designed to roll out Samsung Pay across the world’s established financial companies: the banks and credit card companies.