The smartphone payment processing world is beginning to get a little bit crowded. While Apple Pay was certainly not the first one in the market (Google’s Wallet was there before), Apple Pay brought a lot of attention to what is possible with storing credit cards in your phone and using them to pay for things at any retailer/purchase point that utilizes the specialized hardware.
Samsung Pay – The New Kid On The Mobile Payment Block
When news came that Samsung had bough LoopPay (which I had written about last year when they first started), it was inevitable that Samsung was going to be making a play for the mobile phone payment marketplace – and a play they made. When Samsung unveiled their new phones, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, they also showed off the combined efforts of their recent acquisition that is the new Samsung Pay.
How It Works
Even though Samsung is a little late to the Pay party, they are actually going to have a leg up on Apple Pay when they do roll it out later this year (June is the target time). That is because they have brought the necessary hardware into their phones so no awkward case is needed to utilize the LoopPay (now Samsung Pay) system. You simply load your credit cards into your phone with the camera or manually, swipe to access and select which card to pay with, and hold the phone near the swipe terminal. Instantly, you will receive a notification of the payment details and a log in the Pay app of the purchase.
Samsung is using fingerprint access for security with it as well to ensure that your credit cards cannot be compromised if you lose your phone. While their previous efforts in the fingerprint scanning department left something to be desired, reports are that their new hardware/software combo is much better. Once card selection and finger scanning have occurred, the Pay system generates a magnetic signal of sorts that basically tricks the current credit card terminals to believe that a card with a magnetic strip has been swiped. Voila! Of course, the phones are also equipped with NFC (near field communication) technology to prepare the system for the wider installment of such systems later this year. For now, these new phones will be incredible tools to replace the wallet.
What It Means For Credit Card Spending Strategy
If you are like me, you have several (and I mean, a bit more than several!) credit cards that you have and even use. Because I am out of the US, my card usage has been pretty much a combination of the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, and the Hyatt Chase card. For my usage online and in the US (through additional cardholders), I use other cards to help maximize my points.
Carrying and managing all of those cards can be quite a lot! So, we are often left with the thought of what cards we will need/use the most and those are the ones we carry. But, what if you could scan every one of your credit cards into your phone and pull a specific card up with a swipe to take advantage of card bonuses?
Let’s say, for example, you are on the road right now and your US Airways credit card is sitting in a drawer at home because, well, it is not really the best card for earning US Airway miles (the SPG card is if you transfer Starpoints in blocks of 20,000 to take advantage of the 5,000 mile bonus). Now, you read this morning about the new 50% bonus on spending with the US Airways card and you would like to take advantage of that with some big spending – but the card is at home in the drawer. No problem! If you had previously scanned the card into your Samsung phone, you can just pull it up and use it at any old payment terminal in stores to help with your spending.
Same thing goes for any other card that awards bonus miles/points for various categories or that you are trying to increase spend on. Now, you can carry every single card on your phone and pay literally almost anywhere with it.
That will not be the end of the story! Once October rolls around and payment terminals around the country are upgraded to allow electronic payments such as NFC and Apple Pay (not to mention the rollout to Europe this summer), it will become much easier with Apply Pay and the newly announced/reintroduced Android Pay, as well as Samsung Pay. As a miles/point enthusiast, I am happy for any advances that make the selection and usage of credit card spending for bonuses easier. This certainly does that.
Does this new feature make you want to upgrade to the new Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge? Would you use it that much?