For Samsung, the wearable world has become an important of how they do business, especially given the popularity of the original Galaxy Gear smartwatch and now the Gear S line of devices. The new Gear S3, announced back at IFA 2016, is now available to purchase in the United States and other key markets, making it one of the more high-profile smartwatch releases thanks to the lack of any new Android Wear devices from Huawei, LG or Motorola. One thing that stood on last year’s Gear S2 was of course Samsung Pay, and the ability to pay for things with your watch – just like the Apple Watch offers – and now, it’s been improved in the Gear S3, bringing with it Magnetic Secure Transmission, or MST for short. MST is a great feature that’s in the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy Note 5 line of devices, allowing users to pay with Samsung Pay on their phones with older, swiping card machines at checkout.
Traditionally, Samsung Pay has only been available for select Samsung devices – such as those listed above – but owners of the Gear S2 were able to pay for things with their watch, via Samsung Pay, no matter what make or model of Android phone they were using. Now, the official Twitter handle for Samsung Pay has been spotted telling users that the Gear S3 will do the same, offer users access to Samsung Pay regardless of their make or model of Android phone. Just as long as it runs Android 4.4 KitKat or above, which is a fairly liberal requirement these days.
There’s no official documentation to go along with this sighting from customer support online, but given that the Gear S3 is so new right now, it might be some time before we see just how much of Samsung Pay works on the Gear S3 with other devices. If MST support does come to the watch paired with other devices, it will be a big win for a lot of users looking to pay for things with their watch, without needing to jump through hoops. The “magic” of MST in Samsung Pay is that it will allow users to pay just as though they were swiping their card, which makes it infinitely more usable in standard stores that have yet to upgrade their checkout equipment.