At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung has officially confirmed what we have expected for a while - Samsung Pay will arrive in the UK later this year, finally debuting on the European scene. But with Apple Pay now well established and claiming a fair proportion of the digital wallet market, how can Samsung Pay make a lasting impact on retailers and the tech-savvy UK consumers? We take a quick look at what this latest wallet solution has on offer and why both consumers and merchants should be excited about its launch.
From a consumer's point of view, on the surface Samsung Pay brings a similar user experience to Google Wallet, Square and other Android wallet solutions. Samsung Pay is simple to use and secure. As with other wallets, it allows for loyalty cards, meaning all means of payments can be stored in the same place. It uses tokenisation for an added security layer, encrypted fingerprints for high-value payments and the award-winning Samsung KNOX for real-time hacking surveillance and rooting prevention.
Given that Samsung is a market leader in the UK, with 62% Android share and 34% smartphone share, enabling a digital wallet solution to a large customer base will help quicker adoption rates to contactless and strong brand recognition. It will encourage consumers to ditch their alternative Android wallets in its favour.
When it comes to processing transactions, Samsung Pay relies largely on near-field communication (NFC) technology. From a retailer’s point of view, the ability to accept Samsung Pay and other types of NFC-based payments has become an important value-add. In fact, a survey conducted by Verifone last year showed that consumers want retailers to embrace new technologies in order to offer a better service.
But not all retailers have had the chance or the ability to update their terminals to accept NFC and contactless payments. With this in mind, Samsung Pay enables Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) – an industry first method of sending data using magnetic waves. MST replicates more traditional card-swipe technology, meaning merchants with older, magnetic-stripe terminals, are also able to take transactions with Samsung Pay. Essentially, MST turns every card reader into a contactless payment receiver, enabling all retailers to take alternative payment methods and benefit from more transactions.
Samsung Pay makes the consumer payment experience not only convenient but also exceptionally simple – by utilising existing technology with minimal changes. For retailers it makes the contactless payment experience universal – levelling the playing field.
- Raja Ray, Director of Products and Solutions, Verifone