48 Hours with Samsung Pay

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Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay has been available for a while now, but I have not been able to try it until this week. Samsung continues to partner with banks to try to keep pace with Android and Apple’s mobile payment systems. Samsung Pay is different from Android Pay and Apple Pay in that it uses magnetic secure transmission technology. This enables Samsung Pay equipped Samsung phones like the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, S7 and S7 Edge, Note 5 and S6 Edge Plus to work with older Point-Of-Sale terminals. Android Pay and Apple Pay require NFC terminals in order to perform contactless payments.

I have used Android Pay before. Living in a smaller market it is difficult to find not just NFC terminals, but NFC terminals with NFC enabled on them. The only places I have been able to use it are Best Buy, Walgreens and McDonald’s. Samsung Pay opens up a lot of doors, but my first impressions are that the process is slower and a little clunky. The process isn’t exactly contactless. I attached a debit card to my account so it still requires me to enter a PIN when I make purchases.

One of the issues I came across while using Samsung Pay is the lack of knowledge of the product. On more than one occasion the cashier cancelled the transaction before the transmission from my phone to the terminal was completed and told me to swipe instead. And on more than one occasion despite me trying to explain how the process works, the cashier cut me off mid-sentence and told me they don’t support “Apple Pay” and I need to swipe a card.

Overall, I like what Samsung Pay can offer. It is a step in the right direction in that it is compatible with existing technologies. This makes it insanely convenient for when you realize you left your wallet at home and didn’t pack a lunch.

I wouldn’t leave your wallet at home just yet, though. There were times when I had to rerun the transaction not because the cashier canceled it, but because their system couldn’t handle Samsung Pay for some reason. Also, for when Samsung Pay does work, I wish there was some way to speed up the payment process, though. While it only takes a third of a second to swipe a card, it can take up to 15 seconds for the transaction to go through with Samsung Pay. Another thing that bothers me is that payments made aren’t always shown on your screen. With Android Pay, a receipt will appear on your phone for the amount paid. This hasn’t been the case for Samsung Pay. There were only two retailers where I received such a notification and that was at Wal-Mart and Best Buy. I wish it was like that for all transactions made regardless of retailer.

The versatility of Samsung Pay gives it a leg up over its competition, but at the end of the day…. I like Android Pay better. It’s faster and gives receipts on a consistent basis. I just wish it was more widely accepted. That is the beauty of Android, though. You can choose which payment system you want to use. For those who have compatible Samsung phones and banking cards giving Samsung Pay a try is a no brainer. It can be convenient. Just know what you’re getting into and know that you’ll be forced into being an ambassador for this new technology.