Today at its Mobile World Congress keynote, Samsung Electronics announced the latest in mobile payment services, Samsung Pay. Utilizing the company's purchase of LoopPay in February, Samsung's effort uses both Near Field Communication (NFC) and a new proprietary technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST), allowing consumers to transition to secure mobile payments at nearly all merchant locations.
Samsung has partnered with major payment networks such as MasterCard and Visa. Additionally, Samsung expects to expand the partnership ecosystem for Samsung Pay in the coming months with key financial partners globally, including American Express, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and US Bank. In addition, the MST technology enables Samsung Pay to support private label credit cards with the cooperation of key partners, including Synchrony Financial and First Data Corporation.
Samsung Pay has the potential of being accepted at approximately 30 million merchant locations worldwide. Consumers can use Samsung Pay in merchant locations regardless of whether the terminals support NFC or traditional magstripe, which is the vast majority of existing terminals.
Once a consumer's credit card is added to the system, the user swipes up from the bezel to invoke the Samsung Pay app, chooses the desired payment card, and authenticates with the fingerprint sensor. Tapping the device to the point-of-sale (POS) terminals actuates the transaction.
Samsung's payment security is enhanced by its own mobile security platform Samsung Knox and ARM TrustZone working together to protect transaction information. Samsung's Find My Mobile feature has been expanded, to enable users to locate, lock and wipe devices remotely ensuring Samsung Pay data not being compromised in the case of a lost phone. It is unknown what data is retained on the phone, making the remote wipe feature important with Samsung Pay.
Samsung Pay will initially be available in the United States and Korea this coming summer and expand to other regions, including Europe and China with only the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. More devices are expected.