Samsung gives sneak preview of Apple Pay rival at MWC 2015
Samsung and MasterCard announce mobile payments system Samsung Pay, compatible with older card terminals
Samsung has announced its own Apple Pay rival at Mobile World Congress (MWC), working with MasterCard on the money transfer technology.
Set to arrive with the new Galaxy S6 device, Samsung Pay will let MasterCard customers use the smartphone for in-store transactions, marking Samsung's entry into the mobile payments arena alongside Google Wallet and Apple Pay.
While rival companies make use of NFC technology, however, Samsung Pay is compatible with older card terminals with magnetic-stripe technology, due to its partnership with LoopPay, aservice that allows shoppers to upload their credit card details onto a secure payments app, which can be used with payment platforms.
MasterCard's Ed McLaughlin said at the conference: "This is an exciting time for payments. As consumers are increasingly relying on their mobile devices in their everyday lives, we are exciting to work with an industry leader like Samsung to deliver new payment options to our cardholders around the world.
"We have been a pioneer of mobile commerce innovation for years and together we're delivering a digital payment experience that is both simple and secure."
One barrier to Samsung Pay, however, could be the fact that Visa is currently the only company to have agreed to work with LoopPay.
On the other hand, Samsung hopes its platform's compatibility with older payment technology may give it an edge over Apple and Google's services.
The system would still use the same tokenisation security feature as Apple Pay in addition to MasterCard's usual security measures, which hides customers' credit card details by generating a random number for each individual transaction.
"From the start, Samsung's vision for mobile payments and commerce has been centred on security, wide acceptance, and a simple user experience," Dr Injong Rhee, executive vice president at Samsung Electronics, added.
"With MasterCard's tokenisation services in conjunction with Samsung's unique MST (magnetic secure transmission) and NFC technologies, Samsung Pay makes secure contactless mobile payments possible at most NFC or traditional magnetic POS terminals.
"Samsung's KNOX security platform and fingerprint authentication make Samsung Pay transactions highly secure and easy to use."
Apple Pay was unveiled late last year and is so far considered a success, being adopted by the majority of leading banks and credit card companies following its launch.
Samsung Pay will become available for US consumers in summer 2015, with a wider global rollout to follow soon after.
This story was originally published on 5/2/15 and has been updated since (most recently on 2/3/15) to reflect new information.
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