In Sydney today Samsung have announced the go-live launch of Samsung Pay with support for American Express and Citbank issued cards, but support from the big banks – just like with Apple Pay – is non-existent.

Samsung Pay is supported on Samsung Galaxy S6 series, S7 series and Note 5 devices though it is noted in the announcement that “specific availability varying by local operator” because it requires the latest software update, which unlike Apple is not pushed out by the manufacturer – the Telcos need to approve then deliver to users.

20160615 - Samsung Pay launch Australia- LtoR- Nick Alexander (American Express), Elle Kim (Samsung), Prasad Gokhale (Samsung), Alan Machet (Citi Global Consumer Bank)(0006)

Working anywhere that swipe or tap-and-go payments are accepted – with card issuer support – Samsung Pay will allow owners to tap and go without carrying their wallet.

“Today’s launch of Samsung Pay offers more than a secure and convenient way for Samsung smartphone owners to pay,” said Prasad Gokhale, Vice President, Mobile Division, Samsung Australia. “It’s the next development for Australians who use their smartphone as the central device to live, organise and enjoy their lives.

“Australia is a market of early technology adopters and by providing a platform open to all partners, ranging from government to financial institutions and retailers, while upholding the highest standards of security and data privacy, Samsung is fueling the transition to a truly digital wallet.”

20160615 - Samsung Pay launch Australia (0005)

Samsung pay can also be used by other providers, like retailer loyalty cards, ticket issuers and others to create contactless transactions like public transport tickets.

Globally, Samsung Pay is a very interesting concept, because along with tap-and-go it uses a nifty bit of tech to enable SWIPE card transactions too. It’s Samsung’s own proprietary technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) and while it’s very cool, it’s almost useless in Australia given we moved away from Swipe credit card transactions some time ago.

The real benefit of that technology is not for payments essentially, but for loyalty cards which we do still swipe often – though, I would question if a store like Myer or David Jones would put effort into a Samsung Pay compatibility ahead of a conversion to tap-and-go?

It’s super secure with fingerprint, token and Samsung KNOX paving the way for a relaxed approach from users knowing all is safe and well.


20160615 - Samsung Pay launch Australia (0004)

Exciting news for Amex and Citibank customers with recent Samsung phones, but perhaps more interesting to see how it sits in a world where Android Pay is due any day now?