Samsung Pay was first unveiled by Samsung back in March earlier this year. Last month, Samsung’s mobile payment system officially landed in the United States, about a full year since rival Apple launched its mobile payment system, Apple Pay, to the masses. Samsung Pay was able to launch on three of the big four wireless carriers in the US -- AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint -- with Verizon Wireless noticeably absent from the list. But now that the Big Red is onboard, might Samsung Pay finally be in a position to pose a threat against Apple Pay? It should be noted that apart from Apple Pay, Samsung Pay will also be competing with Android Pay, the mobile payment system that Google launched in September of this year.
Mobile payment systems are nothing new. As a matter of fact, some contactless modes of payment have been around for a while, most notably Google Wallet. But the concept never really took off with mobile users. Of course, all of that changed when Apple introduced its own take on the idea. The launch of Apple Pay last year not only introduced a new Apple service to mobile users, but also contributed immensely in educating people in general about mobile payment systems. The results are certainly showing. Industry watchers may note that payments made through mobile payment systems totaled $3.5 billion in the US in 2014, and this figure is expected to grow to $118 billion three years from now, per eMarketer.
With its Samsung Pay service, Samsung is quite confident that it can give Apple pay a run for its money. The main reason is that Samsung Pay will work in nearly all business establishments, including stores that utilize older magnetic stripe point of sale (POS) terminals. Sure, Samsung Pay makes use of near field communications (NFC) technology, just like Apple Pay and Android Pay do, but Samsung’s system also takes advantage of a piece of tech called Magnetic Secure Transmission, which allows payments to be facilitated by holding handsets near a standard card swipe reader, which is pretty much all payment terminals out there.
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