Which devices support Samsung Pay?
Samsung Pay is limited to the Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge Plus, Note 5, Gear S2, and, most recently, the Galaxy J7 Pro. It also now works with Samsung’s new smartwatch, the Gear S3 — and you don’t need to connect a Samsung phone for it to work.
With the J7 Pro receiving support, Samsung has finally expanded its mobile payment system to non-flagship smartphones. Another budget device, the J7 Max, will receive Samsung Pay Mini, a lighter version of the software that is designed for online payments only. Both these phones are expected to become available in India starting in late June through mid-July, where the J series is very popular. Launching on those devices could be a way for the company to jump-start adoption in the country after recently launching the service there.
Going forward, all of Samsung’s devices will support Samsung Pay. That’s according to Koh Dong-jin, president of the company’s mobile business division. “We have decided to preinstall Samsung Pay devices in Samsung Electronics’ smartphones to be released from ,” he told Business Korea.
The idea that Samsung Pay will come to all of Samsung’s phones is further corroborated by a previous report from Mashable, which noted that Samsung was exploring ways to bring Samsung Pay to its nonpremium devices in order to play a bigger role in mobile payments in India.
Gear S3 owners with an Android phone can use Samsung Pay
A recent update to the Gear manager app allows for Gear S3 users to use Samsung Pay, even if they don’t own a Samsung smartphone. Most Android devices running 4.4 KitKat and above should work, but Samsung says there are a few exceptions at the moment — notably, the Google Pixel.
To get started on paying with your Gear S3, you’ll need to add your cards via the Gear manager app. You can launch Samsung Pay by holding down on the back button.
Hi there, #SamsungPay on the Gear S3 is not available with Pixel devices. (1/2)
— Samsung Pay (@SamsungPay) November 25, 2016
What’s unique about the update is that unlike the Gear S2, the Gear S3 supports MST, not just NFC. That means it will work at most payment terminals — just hold your watch near the checkout terminal when you’re ready to pay.
Support for the Gear S2
Samsung announced late last year that the company’s flagship smartwatch, the Gear S2, would gain support for contactless payments. After a lengthy delay, it finally arrived in the beta program for the S2 during the summer for the Bluetooth-only model. In October, users with the cellular model of the Gear S2 reported that they are able to use Samsung Pay as well.
Samsung Pay Mini
Samsung has announced Samsung Pay Mini, a slimmed-down version of Samsung Pay designed to work on other Android phones, and not just those made by Samsung. Samsung Pay Mini will initially be available in South Korea, where the app will be ready to download over the coming few months.
What’s the difference? Samsung Pay Mini is only for online payments. Offline payments, that’s those used in stores, will require ownership of a Samsung phone and the full Samsung Pay app. This is due to Samsung Pay Mini and phones not made by Samsung not supporting the MST hardware that allows Samsung devices to complete wireless payments at legacy payment terminals.
The app is compatible with Android phones running version 5.0 Lollipop and later, provided the device’s screen has a resolution higher than 1280 x 720 pixels, which should cover most models released over the past few years. In addition to online payments, the app will feature Samsung Pay features for membership cards, transportation cards, and lifestyle options. And it’ll boast a Shopping feature that connects directly with famous local online shopping malls that are partnered with Samsung.
The final launch date hasn’t been confirmed, but a trial version for existing Samsung Pay users to try out will be released on February 6 through Google Play in South Korea.
The announcement follows earlier rumors published by ET News, a report which also discussed Samsung Pay Mini’s chances of reaching iOS in the future. Sadly, it’s highly unlikely, but it’s not entirely Samsung’s fault. The company told ET News that Apple had rejected the Samsung Pay Mini app for iOS devices, adding, “After Apple rejected registration of Samsung Pay Mini onto its app store, we have decided to focus on smartphones with Android OS.”
Samsung hasn’t made any announcements regarding Samsung Pay Mini’s launch outside of South Korea at this time.
The first system to let you pay with your eyes?
A report from Yonhap News Agency in South Korea claims Samsung plans to enable payment by iris scanning in the region, at the recommendation of the country’s credit card firms. These companies reportedly wanted to enable the feature in last year’s Galaxy Note 7, but ultimately only used it for account verification, rather than transactions. According to the article, experts regard this method as more secure than passwords and fingerprints, saying it makes fraud “virtually impossible.”
Iris scanning is one of three biometric authentication methods on the new Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus — the others being the aforementioned fingerprint sensor and facial recognition. With iris scanning, users can unlock their devices simply by looking at them. Samsung’s rival, LG, is reportedly seeking to enable face-sensing tech on its recently released G6, with the ambition to use it for payments. Yonhap provides no timetable for release of the feature on the Galaxy S8.
At the Samsung Galaxy S8 Unpacked event, Samsung unveiled a new way to use Samsung Pay on websites and other online services — Samsung Pass. But what does it do? The main goal here is to make Samsung Pay easier to use, so Samsung Pass stores your passwords and lets you use biometric data — like your fingerprint — instead. That means you won’t have to waste time trying to remember and enter your individual passwords for each service.
It’s really a very handy feature, and Samsung hopes it will help convince people to use Samsung Pay more often in apps and online — rather than just in stores.