Samsung Pay Has Finally Launched in the UK, Takes on Apple and Google

| Updated
by Polina Chernykh · 3 min read
Samsung Pay Has Finally Launched in the UK, Takes on Apple and Google
Photo: Samsung Newsroom/Flickr

Samsung Pay becomes available for customers in the UK starting May 16, two years after the service was first introduced in 2015.

Samsung Electronics has begun rolling out its wireless mobile payment option in the UK.

Samsung Pay is moving late into the UK market. The announcement comes two years after the company’s main competitor Apple Pay launched the service in the UK and a year after Google’s Android Pay becomes available in the country.

The system works in a similar way to its competitors’ payment platforms ( you may check comprehensive comparison here ), featuring near-field communication (NFC) technology that enables payments anywhere contactless credit or debit cards are accepted. To ensure fraud prevention, Samsung Pay won’t store any credit card information on your device, with each transaction using an encrypted digital token to replace payment card data.

Samsung Pay allows users of its smartphones to acquire goods and services by holding their devices up to a contactless card reader. The system features a fingerprint scanner and an iris scanner that let users to verify a transaction. Besides, it can be used to pay for travel on London’s transport system.

Initially, the service will be available on the Galaxy S 8, S 8+, S 7, and S 6 models, but will later come to other versions, including Samsung’s Gear smartwatch.

According to Samsung, its payment platform doesn’t use Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology, which is used older payment terminals and magnetic strip cards. The feature, meantime, is available on Samsung Pay in other countries.

“For the UK launch, we’re going to focus on NFC and then we’ll look for opportunities to bring MST later on,” Samsung’s head of technology, content and launch management for the UK and Ireland, Kyle Brown, told The Independent.

“The UK market is very much trending towards NFC, which is why we’re focusing on that for Samsung Pay. Right now, we’re looking at whether we can use MST for loyalty cards or something like that in the future.”

At launch, Samsung Pay will integrate Visa and Mastercard cards, with support for American Express, First Direct, M&S Bank and HSBC coming soon.

Samsung has rolled out its payment platform in the US and South Korea in 2015, and has later expanded it to China, Russia, Sweden, Brazil, Malaysia, the UAE, Spain, and Thailand. This March, the system went live in India.

Almost two months ago, Samsung Pay partnered with Visa to allow online merchants making purchases without adding payment card data, billing or shipping details each time they shop.

China’s leading mobile payment service Alipay recently launched in the US, thus becoming a direct rival to Apple Pay, PayPal, and Android Pay.

The sector of digital payments is under continuous development, with the world’s leading companies exploring new technologies to make online payments more secure and convenient. Mastercard has recently unveiled a new card with a built-in biometric fingerprint scanner that can easily verify the card owner’s identity.

French bank BNP Paribas together with Carrefour will soon roll out the new mobile payment solution, Lyf Pay, across France. Meantime, Apple is reportedly preparing to launch its own P2P money transfer service.

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