Credit card fraud is one of the great technology negatives in recent years. The number of cases of people losing their hard earned cash through fraudsters or poor encryption continues to rise. Mobile payments systems are now in the news. Samsung Pay, Paypal Here, and Apple Pay are just three of the prominent ways businesses are using mobile technology to good effect. The publicity machines are in full swing as they promote the whys and wherefores of their particular product. So let’s consider Samsung Pay. Is it worth having on your smartphone? What level of encryption does it have to protect your valuable identity?
Samsung Pay – An Overview
Samsung Pay is one of the most accepted mobile payment services available today. It an ease of use that is the equal to any other service and sufficient security to pacify even the most security conscious user. /It provides protection at three levels –
- guarding their private information (called tokenization)
- authentication requirements
- device monitoring using Samsung KNOX
Samsung Pay – How it Works
Samsung Pay is designed to store your debit and credit cards securely in your smartphone. By holding your phone next to retailers’ card readers, the payment is securely made with ease. Samsung uses the standard NFC payment system which is found on Apple Pay but trumps the Apple equivalent because of its superior Magnetic Secure Transmission.
The MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) is designed to fool the older magnetic stripe card reader into believing that a literal card is being swiped through when, in actuality, it is a digital signal. This means that retailers don’t need to update their card readers to accept mobile payments from those who prefer using them.
This allows it to be used with almost any card terminal in the world since it incorporates the NFC and MST technology to facilitate mobile payments. Naturally, before you can use it, you need download the app and set it up with the details of the cards you want to use.
Here is a conversation Geoffrey Fowler of the Wall St Journal had when reviewing Samsung Pay:
GF: “I’m going to pay with my phone.”
Clerk: “Sorry, we don’t have Apple Pay.”
GF: “This isn’t Apple Pay. It’s like a credit card on my phone.”
Clerk: “We don’t have that.”
GF: “It’s something new called Samsung Pay. It will work.”
Clerk: “No, it won’t.”
GF: “Let’s just try. Tell the machine I’m paying with a credit card.”
Clerk: (Assuming defensive posture as I lunge at his register with my phone). “OK, but…”
GF: “Did it go through?”
Clerk: “Uh…yes! Dude, that’s trippy.”
Samsung Pay – How it Has Been Received
Overall, reviewers have had mostly positive things to say about Samsung Pay. The downside to the technology is that is can only be used on Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+ and Note 5 smartphones. In the USA, you need to be using AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and US Cellular phone carriers. Still, despite the current limitations, most of the tech review magazines rate it better than Apple Pay, due to Samsung Pay using the Magnetic Stripe Technology in its system.
Is Samsung Pay a good fit for you? It may be, but you have to be convinced that this technology is safe and useful in your day to day payments methods. We are in the early days of mobile technology. Many of us were afraid to buy things on the Internet back when e-stores first became available. Now, we often jump on the Net and make purchases without a second thought, due to the ever-advancing encryption software that the major e-stores have in place. Mobile payment systems will achieve that same trust level as manufacturers demonstrate the strength of their security systems. We can all take our time learning about this technology, doing our research and making sure we have covered all bases when using Samsung Pay or one of the other mobile payment systems.
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