22 Sep 2017

Samsung Pay Introduced in the UK

Samsung Pay has arrived! It has finally rolled out in the UK, more than two years after Samsung announced it.

The wireless payment system was introduced in the UK on May 16th and can be used on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6, S6 edge and S6 edge+, and Galaxy Note 5. It enables users to use their phone at any contactless card payment machine. It works in the same way that Apple Pay works.
It works in two ways. Firstly, is uses the NFC chip inside the phone, which when tapped against an NFC reader allows you to make purchases just like a contactless card. The problem with this is that many stores don’t have NFC compatible checkout terminals, meaning that contactless payment systems such as Apple Pay are useless. Samsung has thought about this problem though. They have incorporated MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) which is also found on all credit and debit cards and allows your phone to communicate with the magnetic strip that is inside all checkout terminals.

You may be wondering ‘why don’t I just keep using my contactless card? It does the exact same as Samsung Pay’. Well, one of the advantages of using Samsung pay over a contactless card is that the card only allows you to spend a maximum of £20 to £30; Samsung Pay allows you to set a maximum spend limit with your bank, making it customisable for everyone.

There are only a handful of Samsung Pay supported banks at the moment; including Visa and Mastercards from MBNA, Nationwide and Santander. In the coming months, however, Samsung hopes to incorporate American Express, First Direct, HSBC and M&S Bank.
One of the most exciting features with Samsung Pay is that it is compatible with the TFL network. This means you can use your phone as an Oyster card, all you must do is tap it against the reader, you don’t even need to wake your phone!

Samsung also have big plans in terms of expandability. They have stated that in the future, loyalty cards will become compatible meaning you will be able to collect points in all your favourite UK shops.

The South Korean tech giant also claims that the security and ease of use re a unique selling point of Samsung Pay. It uses a secure three-step authentication process designed to keep your payments safe and secure. The three steps involved are biometrics, Samsung’s KNOX software and tokenisation, which ensures that your card details are not stored on the phone itself.

To make Samsung Pay easy to use, Samsung have come up with a simple way of activating it. All you need to do is swipe your thumb over the fingerprint sensor and your card will appear on the screen. You can then use a swiping gesture to browse through all your stored cards in order to find the one you want to use.