Samsung throws more incentives at iPhone users

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Samsung Pay Launches In The U.S..

Samsung Pay, the device maker’s competitor to rival NFC-based payment services including Apple Pay and Android Pay, is now live in the U.S. following its earlier launch in South Korea, where it saw over $30 million in transaction volume during its first month. The payments platform, based on technology acquired from LoopPay, gives Samsung what it hopes will be a competitive advantage in the payments market, as it’s not limited to NFC-based payments alone. Instead, Samsung Pay offers a way for consumers to pay using their Samsung smartphones via either NFC technology, like Apple and Google’s solution, or by emulating a magnetic stripe card.

The technology lets you buy goods most anywhere that accepts card- or NFC-based payments, so you probably won’t have to fret about bringing out your wallet at the local shop. The latter item was the basis for Samsung’s $250 million acquisition of the startup LoopPay, which had developed and patented a technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission. Though the U.S. is shifting to EMV-based credit and debit cards, which are more secure that the traditional magnetic stripe cards, there will still be a transitional period where not all customers’ cards have been upgraded to the chip-and-PIN technology, and not all point-of-sale terminals will support EMV transactions. You’ll need a Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+ or Note 5 running on one of four big US carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or US Cellular), and you’ll need an American Express, MasterCard or Visa card issued through large banks like Bank of America, Citi or US Bank. While Apple iPhone users and NFC-based Android smartphone users today have to check to see if their terminal supports NFC transactions before they can tap their phone to pay, with Samsung Pay-enabled smartphones, tap-and-pay works at nearly any point-of-sale terminal where you can swipe your card to pay thanks to its support for magstripe card emulation.

You’ll get to keep your current user name (as long as it doesn’t contain invalid characters, in which case you’ll have to go through a few extra steps to make the transfer), and all your old comments will eventually (not immediately) migrate with you. In addition, Samsung hasn’t forged a deal with Verizon, one of the U.S.’s top carriers, which means Samsung Pay for now only works on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. But, out of the gate, Android Pay works with those partners as well as Discover and a number of other banks and issuers, including Capital One, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions, USAA and Wells Fargo.

And then, those supported customers who know about the service and understand how it works will be even fewer, as consumer adoption of mobile payments is still heating up.

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