Apr 25, 2017
NFC payments are not all that.
To be fair, the whole mobile payment thing has not lit me afire. I get the whole digital wallet thing, but the truth is, they are only as useful as the raw number of places they can be used. Stateside, the number is not very high. Contactless payment adoption is taking a little while to catch on
Procuring a Galaxy S7 edge allowed me to re-acquaint myself with Samsung ecosystem within an ecosystem; one major piece that I initially ignored completely was Samsung Pay.
Seen one, seen em all, right? I was find not using it, because I didn’t have a need to.
Until I did. I lost my wallet, a day before a major business trip across the the country. Major hassle, because I could not postpone the trip.
I had the card numbers and details, and felt fairly confident that the wallet was lost somewhere safe (at home). I figured one option would work: attaching my cards to Samsung Pay.
What supposedly sets Samsung Pay apart from the other options — like Android Pay and Apple Pay — is the fact that it goes beyond NFC functionality; it uses a magnetic system that simulates a physical card sliding through a a card reader. This means, in theory, that Samsung Pay can be used with “regular” card readers… that means readers that the competition cannot.
To cut a long story short, I was able to make it on my trip. My cards made it to me, yes, but I kept on using the service. In practice, it worked in most places I tried it; outdoor gas station card readers were very iffy, but department stores and eateries worked well. I like that I don’t have to use the fingerprint reader for authentication, and the promotions are an added plus.
It isn’t perfect, no. You need one of the relatively few Samsung devices AND a supported financial institution to make use of it. Still, Samsung Pay is a big reason I am seriously considering sticking with the OEM for my next daily driver.