Samsung has shared some more details about their forthcoming Samsung Pay service, including another confirmation that they will launch the service in the U.S. and South Korea this summer with Europe and China slated to follow. The good news is that Samsung Pay will be free of charge for owners of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. The bad news is that Samsung’s latest information makes it unclear as to whether Samsung Pay will be available on other devices and if so, whether a fee will be attached to it.
Samsung is working hard to make the new service easy to use, perhaps easier to use than pulling a card out of a wallet. Samsung Pay employs a new technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission which should open up use to any retailer with a relatively modern point-of-sale terminal for accepting credit and debit cards. Whether MST or NFC is used, Samsung Pay will only require a user to select a payment source, scan their fingerprint, and tap to pay.
Samsung says their new app will let users keep all of their credit and debit cards loaded on their mobile device. Because the app requires fingerprint verification, Samsung Pay should be more secure than traditional physical cards.
According to Samsung, availability of Samsung Pay on their newest devices will require a firmware update to be issued, so those grabbing a new Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 edge in the next couple months should expect to see that. Samsung is silent though on whether Samsung Pay will be available on other devices. One key issue will be those devices that do not have fingerprint scanners and whether they will ever be able to use the service. Depending on how hard Samsung wants to push the service, one also has to wonder whether Samsung is going to equip all future smartphones they produce with a fingerprint scanner so as to be able to use the service.
Despite some apparent limitations to how extensively Samsung may be able to encourage uptake of their solution, the company still expects Samsung Pay to “make a huge splash” in the mobile payment market.