The lead up to MWC was chock full of leaks, so the unveiling of Samsung Pay didn’t surprise, it was the announced 90% coverage of the market that surprised. Of recent, I’ve been using some form of smartphone pay, either via Apple Pay or Google Wallet, and I really like the convenience it provides. As many of the day one presenters stated, the phone is always with us, true statement.
My experiences to date using either form of smartphone pay has relatively been good and up until today, I was OK with the spotty merchants that accepted one form or the other, thinking that over time, greater acceptance would soon be the norm. Samsung educated me today on mobile payments, when they mentioned MST, it glossed right by devoid second thought. Yet, the more they talked, the more I paid attention and grew to understand the magnitude of what Samsung was bringing to market.
We go into these tech shows with, at minimum, with two words that can be used afterwards to judge the offerings, “revolutionary or evolutionary”. I might just go out on a limb and say Samsung Pay, could be revolutionary. While my use with the aforementioned formats have been devoid much drama except, the one thing I’ve never been able to do, is go into a brick and mortar with the intent to pay via the smartphone and leave my wallet behind. I’ve yet to achieve that level of confidence, always having the feeling of needing a backup, Samsung Pay could be a game-changer. OK, so maybe instead of revolutionary, lets stay safe for now, use game-changer and let tomorrows history determine if its indeed, revolutionary.
Back to that MST, which by the way, stands for Magnetic Secure Transmission. Now, I’ll admit, there were brief periods today of confuse and concern (c2) as this form of pay has been referenced as MTS vice MST. When you google MTS, you’ll see what I mean. MST works by communicating with credit card swipe readers, developed by Boston-based LoopPay, whom Samsung acquired if you’ll recall. So, when you’re making payments with your card and it’s swiped, similar usage is what MTS brings to the table, now in electronic capability. Samsung also estimates that its pay system could reach up to 30 million merchants worldwide.
Compared to existing smartphone pay formats, Samsung Pay will require a few more steps to complete transactions. Steps: 1. Swipe up from the bezel. 2. The Samsung Pay app launches. 3. Choose a card. 4. Touch fingerprint sensor to validate and finally 5. Tap the merchant terminal and you’re done. Whew! My goodness, all that to gain 90% acceptance, OK, I guess we can live with those extra steps. However, it is 2015 and convenience is the name of today’s game.
First and foremost, the S6 and S6 Edge have to be major successes in the sales arena for Samsung Pay to succeed, there in-lies the gamble. By all accounts, without any hands on to confirm my thoughts, the S6 line should do well. So, I’ll end with a twofold question.
Are you equally excited about the S6 line and Samsung Pay? Summer will arrive before we know it, bringing both the heat and Samsung Pay. More to come..