A new version of Samsung Pay pushed to Galaxy devices redesigns the user interface and navigation experience for the mobile payment app. Update build 2.8.18 integrates an entirely different visual experience for maneuvering Samsung's platform. Some such features include the option to view the account wallet, check any earned rewards, and see available promotions easier. Users will also be able to add gift cards, log retail membership cards and information, and browse the store. The visual changes reside at the bottom of the app in a new navigation bar with easy-to-use tabs for quick access. Users can find the update from either the Google Play Store or the Samsung Galaxy Apps store.
Samsung Pay is unique from most mobile payment platforms in its inherent design. The South Korean transaction system began by using a patented technology, known as MST. "Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) is a technology that emits a magnetic signal that mimics the magnetic strip on a traditional payment card," according to Samsung. The signal emitted by a compatible device enables the user to transmit credit card payment information wirelessly via the smartphone to virtually any reader that accepts card swipes. While readers at locations like gas station pumps that only accept card insertion are not supported, almost all other card readers are indeed compatible. Apple Pay and Android Pay, conversely, require a near field communication (NFC) chip to be present and a suitable reader to accept payment. Samsung Pay supports NFC as well, and will default to either MST or NFC, depending on which reader is more readily nearby. By using a tokenization of the payment card, Samsung Pay uses a temporary number instead of the buyer's personal card number to make the transaction. Keeping users' data anonymous and requiring a biometric confirmation of purchase ensures the security of Samsung Pay.
The 2015 Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge were the first devices from the tech giant to support MST, and subsequently Samsung Pay. Following in their footsteps were a plethora of Galaxy smartphones, including but not limited to all versions of the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S8, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy Note 7 (discontinued), and the Galaxy Note 8. Smartphones are not the only devices made compatible with Samsung's MST, however. The Gear S3 and the Gear Sport smartwatches pack the exclusive MST technology, as well. And now that Samsung Pay is offered by the Google Play Store, a host of devices are now compatible, including many of Samsung's low-to-midrange devices without MST. Using NFC, most owners of modern Galaxy smartphones and select smartwatches can enjoy Samsung's wealth of rewards and promotions. Samsung Pay is available in an increasing number of countries and regions, including the United States, India, Mexico, the UK, among others.