We all heard news a few months ago that Samsung purchased a company that had a revolutionary technology that could make mobile payments a breeze.
So what is it really? To answer that, we need to step back a few years when Google launched its Wallet app which worked with NFC.
The idea was, for users to make credit/debit card payments at their favorite retails outlets with their phones and not to carry their cards with you all the time. Sounds great doesn't it? So Google and its hardware partners enabled NFC technology in their phones to allow this. That said, they ran into a huge challenge. For this to work, retailers had to invest in upgrading their Point of Sale terminals. So long story short, Google was way ahead of its time.
Around the time Apple pay was being launched, regulatory changes required retailers to upgrade their terminals with the new EMV chips. That gave the retailers an opportunity to elect to also add NFC technology to their POS systems. Some did, others didn't. The retailers who did partnered with Apple and Google to allow NFC based transactions, however the adoption rate is really slow, why because everyone either couldnt afford to, or had concerns with security and such.
LoopPay, the company that Samsung purchased, had figured out a way to allow a device to be used without NFC on traditional terminals. The way it works is that the device will emit the information that mimics a magnetic strip on the back of a card at very short ranges after a user invokes the app. Then the user has to mimic the hand motion of swiping a card over the terminal's slot. That is all. This allows your device to work with 90% of the terminals at retailers without the retailers to invest in NFC based terminals. That is way more adoption that both Apple pay or Google Wallet could achieve today!
Here is a video from Samsung.
The Note 5 and the Galaxy Edge 6+ are the first devices that were lauched with Samsung Pay, however it is currently in Beta until September 28th or so. I ahppened to be part of the beta and have been using it almost daily with my Bank of America credit card (one of the beta partners). It is so easy to use and quick, its just amazing. The cards sit on the bottom of the screen and a swipe up brings them up to be ready. At this point you have to scan your fingerprint (if chosen as the method of security) and you are good to go. See the screenshots below for some details:
I believe this will be a great way for users to be able to use their phone for mobile payments going forward. I hope that in the future this technology can be made available across the board.
Until next time
-- Your Product Ambassador Team
Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee