First, there’s Google Wallet. Then, Apple announced Apple Pay. Now that we’ve heard rumors of Google’s new mobile payments system, Samsung steals the show with Samsung Pay. At the Mobile World Congress, the South Korean technology giant announced its mobile payment service, sending a strong signal to Apple that it is still in the game.
Samsung Pay, expected to launch this summer, aims to deliver a reliable and secure mobile payments solution to consumers at nearly all locations – an ambitious goal for a company that has yet to test the thriving mobile payments market. However, the company admits that mobile wallets have a poor acceptance rate in most stores.
What makes Samsung Pay unique is its proprietary technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST), which supports private label credit cards (PLCC), thanks to partnerships with Synchrony Financial, First Data Corporation, and other merchants. By doing so, Samsung Pay will become a universal payment solution, the company said in a press release.
Samsung has also partnered with major payment networks like Visa and MasterCard, and financial institutions including Bank of America, American Express, Citi, JPMorgan, and the U.S. Bank. The company plans to launch Samsung Pay at around 30 million merchant locations around the world.
The mobile payments solution works by using both NFC and MST technologies. Users can add their cards in a few steps. Then simply swipe the Samsung phone from its bezel to activate Samsung Pay; the app accepts the desired payment method and authenticates users through the fingerprint sensor.
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Samsung says that the application does not keep personal account numbers on any device. Instead, Samsung stores its data online. The company is assuring that Samsung Pay’s security features are safer than a physical card. Samsung does that by adding tokenization, replacing data with encrypted tokens, on top of Samsung KNOX, the company’s mobile security solution.