Last year Samsung promised us its mobile payment service, Samsung Pay, would come to the UK in 2016. We're still waiting, so when is Samsung Pay coming out in the UK? We outline the Samsung Pay and Samsung Pay Mini rumours. See also: LG Pay.
Samsung Pay: What is Samsung Pay? Why is Samsung Pay different?
Samsung Pay is a mobile payments service that allows secure mobile payments to be made at participating shops and points of sale.
It was originally thought to be useful only for Samsung devices, however the company evidently had hoped to also take on competitors including Apple Pay and Android Pay. According to MacRumors the Samsung Pay Mini app has just been rejected from Apple's App Store (no great surprise), but the company is still planning an Android launch for the app, which is expected to feature the Bixby AI assistant and come alongside the Galaxy S8, possibly in February at MWC or at a separate Unpacked event in March.
Samsung Pay combines NFC and a new MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technology to allow you to make payments using your Samsung Galaxy smartphone (for instance the new Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge), smartwatch or tablet. It has already partnered with Visa and Mastercard on the project, and is working to get major banks involved.
The introduction of MST makes Samsung Pay a universal solution that is compatible whether the checkout terminal supports NFC or the traditional magstripe found on debit- and credit cards. Samsung says this means the payment service could be accepted at 30 million merchant locations worldwide.
It says it takes only a few steps to add a card to your Samsung Pay account, and using your phone to pay for goods and services is then simple, fast and secure - more secure than carrying a credit card in any case, with no account numbers held on the device and all sensitive data replaced with unique tokens. Payment security is also provided by Samsung Knox and ARM TrustZone, which work together to prevent fraud and data theft.
“Samsung Pay will reinvent how people pay for goods and services and transform how they use their smartphones. The secure and simple payment process, coupled with our robust partner network, makes Samsung Pay a truly game-changing service that will bring value to consumers and our partners in the ecosystem,” said JK Shin, CEO and head of IT & mobile communications at Samsung. Also see: Best Samsung phones 2016: What is the difference between Galaxy Note, Galaxy S, Galaxy A and Galaxy J?
Samsung Pay UK release date: When is Samsung Pay coming to the UK
Samsung Pay UK release date: 18 April 2017 (TBC)
Samsung Pay has been available in the US since September 2015, but we're still waiting for it to come to the UK. During February's Unpacked 2016 event in which it launched the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Samsung confirmed that it would come to the UK some time in 2016, but didn't give an exact timeline.
We're now in January 2017 and there's still no sign of the service, with Samsung Pay apparently held up by ongoing negotiations between Samsung and UK banks. It is now tipped to launch alongside the Samsung Pay Mini app with the Galaxy S8 launch, itself the subject of much debate.
There are arguments that the Galaxy S8 could be unveiled on 26 February at MWC, or at an Unpacked event in March, but all sources seem to back up the idea it will go on sale in April (potentially 18 April).
A promising sign that Samsung Pay is almost ready for its UK launch comes from PC Advisor reader Angus Leckey, who has had the Samsung Pay app installed on his imported Galaxy Note 5 since June 2016 but only recently has it accepted his UK Nationwide credit- and debit cards. Angus says he has tried to make a payment via MST but it was declined.
We'll update this article as soon as more information is available.
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