Forget Carrying Credit Cards, Pay through Samsung Pay Instead

By CIOReview | Friday, August 21, 2015
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FREMONT, CA: Starting in late September, 2015 Samsung’s U.S. customers can enjoy paying through their cell phones. All thanks to ‘Samsung Pay’ which is already been launched in Samsung’s home country of South Korea.

This might be in response to ‘Apple Pay’ launched last year by its rival Apple for its new iPhone customers. Samsung’s rapid deployment of ‘Samsung Pay’ across various countries indicates a more aggressive rollout than Apple Pay which is currently limited to US and UK only.

As of now only the latest smart phones will be supporting the ‘Samsung Pay’ and that includes Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note 5. Unlike several payment apps including Google Wallet the users won’t need to launch any specific app to initiate the process.

After entering the card details the customer needs to swipe the bottom of the device’s face and Samsung Pay will automatically activate even if the screen is turned off. Next the customer needs to select a credit card and scan his/her fingerprint or provide a secret pin to authenticate the transaction. At last, the customer will need to bring his/her device close to the payment terminal within 15 seconds to allow the application to complete the transaction via Near Field Communication (NFC).

The stores are not required to install any special hardware to process this type payment. The application is designed to work perfectly with the existing payment terminals available at the stores.  Thanks to a proprietary technology called ‘Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST)’ unlike Apple Pay, Samsung Pay will work with magnetic stripes readers as well.

"Rather than swiping the card, which normally transmits the data, we are using electronic signals (made by alternating current through) coils inside the phone to send the signal over," explains Thomas Ko, Vice President of Samsung Pay.

This particular technology was originally developed by LoopPay-a U.S. firm which was acquired by Samsung in February this year.

In order to secure the transaction process and safeguard it from attempts to clone the details on magnetic stripes on cards that are being transmitted, Samsung Pay uses tokenization to counter this kind of threats.

Instead of transmitting the same static “Primary Account Number” (PAN) every time Samsung Pay transmits a 16-digit token--a unique encrypted single use code representing a credit/debit card without disclosing the actual account details.

Despite certain advantages offered by Samsung Pay, industry experts predict that existing Apple Pay fans are less likely to be swayed from Apple's iOS ecosystem for now.