Apple made a big splash in the market last October with the introduction of its Apple Pay contactless payments system. Using a combination of NFC hardware, Touch ID, authentication software and numerous partnerships with banks, credit card companies and retailers, Apple sought out to revolutionize how we pay for everything from Big Macs to 14 gallons of diesel fuel at the pump.
While Google has laid the groundwork for its own competing, fingerprint-authorized payment service called Android Pay, Samsung has taken it upon itself to launch its own service. Samsung Pay promises to bring the best of both worlds, as it not only supports NFC technology (as we’ve seen with Apple Pay), but it can also work with older payment terminals, which don’t support contactless payments. That means that you can technically pay “almost anywhere” that allows you to swipe your existing credit card.
“Samsung Pay works with almost any card terminal from day one and Galaxy owners can shop with a wallet they never knew was always in their hands,” said Injong Rhee, the Global Head of Samsung Pay. “As the leader in innovation, Samsung is proud to introduce the first mobile payment solution that allows you to pay almost anywhere you can swipe or tap your card today.”
Samsung Pay currently supports MasterCard, Visa and American Express cards and is backed by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular. Surprisingly, Verizon Wireless isn’t a launch partner for Samsung Pay, but we imagine that support for compatible devices (Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy Note 5) operating on America’s largest wireless network will come soon enough.
Samsung is even running a special promotion which will give Galaxy Note 5 or Galaxy S6 Edge+ users that activate Samsung Pay a free Wallet Flip Cover or Wireless Charge. But the promotion only runs from now until October 11th, so you had better act quickly if you own either of these devices.