Samsung launched their very own contactless payment system called Samsung Pay in South Korea in August 2015. It is similar to the Apple Pay system whereby you can use your Samsung smartphone to pay for goods and services rather than having to dig your bank or credit card out of your wallet or back pocket. Samsung Pay is due to launch in the USA at the end of September and Samsung plan to roll out the service to the UK as well as Spain and China soon.
One of the advantages Samsung Pay has over Apple Pay is that it’s payment system is compatible with a larger number of existing contactless payment terminals than Apple Pay is. As well as working with NFC-enabled tap and go machines, Samsung Pay uses Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) which means it’s also compatible with terminals which have magnetic stripe readers which are widely found in the USA and Asia.
Like Apple, Samsung Pay is only available on their newer smartphones and devices such as the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+ and Note 5. To use Samsung Pay, once your credit card details have been stored, you simply swipe upwards on your Samsung smartphone (regardless of whether your screen is on or not) and the Samsung Pay icon appears. You then need to hold you smartphone close to the payment terminal, select the card you want to pay with and confirm with your fingerprint or a PIN number.
Google also have their own mobile payment service known as Android Pay. Android Pay will replace Google Wallet and will be compatible with Android smartphones which feature NFC technology. Google’s next Android operating system – which will be called Google Android 6.0 Marshmallow or Android M for short – will come with software which will enable older smartphones to use the Android Pay service.
It’s thought that Android Pay will launch in the US first although an actual date has not yet been confirmed. Essentially Android Pay will work in a similar way to Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, an android device is held and unlocked close to a contactless payment terminal to pay for goods or services.
Android Pay will also support loyalty and store points cards so your store card information can be entered into the app to you can accrue points as you normally would when you shop. Android Pay will be available to use with major credit card companies such as American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Bank of America.