Presented by Samsung

What is Samsung Pay and how does it work?

Samsung Pay is a mobile payments app that comes with high-end and mid-range Samsung phones and allows you to make card payments using your smartphone.

It officially launched in South Africa on 21 August after being available in early access for three weeks, with Absa and Standard Bank as launch partners.

The groundwork for the technology that is Samsung Pay was laid when Samsung acquired LoopPay, a startup from Massachusetts in the United States.

LoopBay developed technology which effectively turned ordinary magnetic card readers, which do not have support for “tap-and-go” near field communications (NFC), into contactless card readers.

Samsung calls this Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST), and it works by creating a magnetic field which mimics the swipe of a bank card on a payment terminal.

To support MST, a smartphone must have special hardware built in to create the magnetic field.

It must be noted that Samsung Pay also makes use of standard NFC contactless technology where available. The inclusion of MST, however, means that the app works where a card terminal doesn’t have a contactless reader, or its reader is disabled.

What this means for users is that Samsung Pay works at virtually any payment terminal and users can go out with confidence knowing the technology is supported in South Africa.

Secure systems

To get started, a user scans their bank card or manually enters their information into the Samsung Pay app, and a digital version of that card is created and stored on their smartphone.

This digital token has its own card number and can be used to make payments as if the user’s physical card was being tapped or swiped, with all transactions secured by a PIN or biometric security.

Currently, the following devices support Samsung Pay:

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
  • Samsung Galaxy A8

To learn more, watch the video below in which MyBroadband editor-at-large Jan Vermeulen explains how Samsung Pay works.

This article was published in partnership with Samsung.

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