Using your phone to pay for your morning coffee is not a new concept. We have had the option to do so with Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and the now defunct Samsung Wallet. Those methods are incredibly convenient and save you from lugging a bunch of cards around if you only shop in places that accept the technology. With the recently unveiled Samsung Pay, the Korean phone manufacturer plans to plant itself firmly ahead of the competition.
When Samsung Pay was announced at Mobile World Congress earlier in the year it was announced that the service would work at existing payment terminals regardless if they had Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities. Now, some of the details about how Samsung plans on going about that have come to light. Samsung recently acquired LoopPay, who have developed a technology called "Magnetic Secure Transmission." MST was quickly integrated into the Korean company's new offerings. This technology is able to emulate the magnetic stripe present on most credit cards and store loyalty cards.
Will Graylin, The CEO of LoopPay before Samsung acquired them earlier this spring, explains ""It emulates exactly what happens when you swipe a card. Now we're talking the language of the point of sale." The high cost of upgrading their point of sales terminals to support mobile payments has continued to be a huge barrier to the mass adoption of Apple Pay and Google Wallet as the main ways people make their purchases. In theory anyway, this new method of card-swipe mimicking should work on any terminal that the card is not required to physically activate some type of switch by inserting the card into a slot like you would typically find at gas-station pay at pump stations or ATM machines. Samsung was quick to point out that only a software upgrade to disable the switch requirement would be needed to make those types of terminals compatible as well, and they have begun to work with some locations that use them. The MST technology and Samsung Pay has been included on the new Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note5. Samsung pay will be available to download to other devices in the US September 28, and while in-app purchasing is not yet supported by the system it will be included later.