Samsung users can use the Samsung Pay app to make secure, quick and easy payments in-store and online using just their smartphones – no debit card required.
Plus, unlike Google Pay and Apple Pay, Samsung Pay is available even where contactless payments aren’t.
What is Samsung Pay?
Samsung Pay is an app that lets you make payments inside stores and online with your Samsung phone, instead of using your physical debit or credit card. The app securely stores digital copies of your cards, allowing you to hit the shops without your physical wallet or any cash on you at all.
How does Samsung Pay work?
Samsung Pay uses near field communication (NFC) technology. This enables your Samsung smartphone or Gear smartwatch to communicate with a payment terminal when used to tap and pay, and is similar to how a traditional debit card chip operates. The debit card details are securely transferred to the card reader using NFC, allowing the transaction to take place without the need to swipe a physical debit card.
Both Google Pay and Apple Pay also rely on NFC technology.
Samsung devices are also equipped with magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology, which is the technology used when you swipe your card. This means that you can use Samsung Pay even at card readers that aren’t equipped for contactless payments.
Where can you use Samsung Pay?
Samsung Pay is accepted at millions of locations worldwide in almost all stores that already accept payments with traditional debit and credit cards. It’s also accepted online and in apps anywhere you see the Samsung Pay logo.
Which devices support Samsung Pay?
Samsung Pay is compatible with the following devices:
Galaxy S9 and S9+
Galaxy Note5 and Note8
Galaxy S8 and S8+
Galaxy S7 and S7 edge
Galaxy A7 and A5
Galaxy J5 Pro and J7 Pro
Gear S3, S2 and Gear Sport smartwatches
Galaxy S6, S6+ and S6 edge
How to set up Samsung Pay on your smartphone
Set up Samsung Pay in a few easy steps and start making contactless payments right away.
Ensure you have an eligible device and debit card. Check you have an eligible Samsung device from the list above, and that your bank supports Samsung Pay.
Download the app. Your device may already have the Samsung Pay app installed. If not, download it for free from the Google Play store.
Complete the setup process. Sign into the app and add your Samsung account details. Select which verification you’d like from either fingerprint login, iris scan or PIN.
Add your cards. You can now add your credit, debit, gift and loyalty card details and start using the app.
How to set up Samsung Pay on your smartwatch
If you have an eligible Gear smartwatch from the list above, follow these steps to setup Samsung Pay on your watch.
Open Samsung Gear. Samsung Pay for your Gear smartwatch is managed through the Samsung Gear app, not the Samsung Pay app. When you open Gear, click “Settings” and then “Samsung Pay” and sign into your Samsung account.
Set a PIN. Once you’ve signed in, you can set a PIN number on your smartwatch. You’ll then be able to watch a short video tutorial on your smartphone.
Add your card. You can now add your debit card details by scanning your card (so you don’t have to manually enter your card numbers). Once you’ve been verified, you’re all set to go.
How do I use Samsung Pay once it’s installed?
To use Samsung Pay to make a payment in-store, you need to unlock your phone by using your fingerprint, PIN or iris (eye) scan. This will ensure it’s you making the payment. Then, simply hold the smartphone over the card reader as you would when using your debit card for a tap-and-go payment.
If you’re making a purchase within an app, for example a food delivery app, just select the Samsung Pay option when checking out to avoid manually entering your card details.
To pay using your Gear smartwatch, hold the top button and enter your four-digit PIN when prompted to do so. When your default card is displayed on the screen of your watch, tap the “Pay” option. Then hold your watch over the card reader. You’ll feel a buzz or slight vibration on the watch when the payment had been approved, which only takes a couple of seconds.
Is Samsung Pay safe?
When using Samsung Pay to make payments with your phone, you’re still covered by the same fraud and security protections that you bank normally offers. The app doesn’t store your payment information, nor does it share your bank account details with merchants when you make a payment. When you make a payment, the app generates a random unique number for the transaction instead of your real debit card number
If you happened to lose your phone and someone found it, they wouldn’t be able to use it to make purchases. This is because every transaction made using Samsung Pay requires you to enter a PIN code or use your fingerprint or iris to verify it’s actually you first. Plus, if you lose your phone, you can also delete the details in your Samsung Pay account remotely.
Pros and Cons of using Samsung Pay
You can use it to make purchases in-store, within apps and online.
It’s safe and secure, and your card details aren’t shared with merchants.
You don’t have to bring cash or your debit card when you’re out and about.
It’s supported by a range of Samsung smartwatches as well as phones.
You need an eligible Samsung device, so it’s more limiting than Google Pay which works on a large range of Android devices.
Not all banks offer Samsung Pay yet.
Compare accounts compatible with Samsung Pay
What is Apple Pay and Google Pay?
While Samsung Pay is for Samsung devices, Apple Pay is the contactless payment app for Apple devices. Apple Pay can be used on a range of eligible iPhones as well as compatible Apple Watches. Apple Pay is just as secure as Samsung Pay, and requires users to either enter a PIN or use their face scan or fingerprint to verify a payment.
Google Pay is the digital wallet solution developed by Google, and is the consolidation of Android Pay and Google Wallet. Google Pay is somewhat less limiting than both Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, as it’s supported by a large range of Android devices.
The Samsung Pay app is best for those who have a Samsung device and would like an alternative option to making online and in-store purchases without having to directly share debit or credit card details.
Alison Banney is the banking and investments editor at Finder. She has written about finance for over six years, with her work featured on sites including Yahoo Finance, Money Magazine and Dynamic Business. She has previously worked at Westpac, and has written for several other major banks including BCU, Greater Bank and Gateway Credit Union. Alison has a Bachelor of Communications from Newcastle University, with a double major in Journalism and Public Relations. She has ASIC RG146 compliance certificates for Financial Advice, Securities and Managed Investments and Superannuation. Outside of Finder, you’ll likely find her somewhere near the ocean.
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