Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Samsung Pay launches in India: All you need to know

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Samsung has launched the company’s digital payment service – Samsung Pay – in India. Currently available in 14 countries, Samsung Pay was initially launched in South Korea in 2015.


The service allows you to pay at retail stores simply by waving your Samsung smartphone near a cash register instead of swiping a credit or debit card or sharing your payment information. The service also integrates with Paytm, the leading mobile wallet in the country, and Unified Payments Interface (UPI).


Samsung Pay works with all regular swipe-based card machines which support NFC or MST (magnetic secure transmission). MST sends a magnetic signal from the smartphone to the payment terminal’s card reader to emulate swiping a physical card. Since there’s no hardware or software upgrade required to the payment terminal, one can expect quicker and seamless adoption and broad acceptance at retail stores.


Note that Samsung Pay doesn’t allow online payments, and can be only used for in-person, physical transactions. So, it’s not a replacement for other online payment services like mobile wallets or digital payments apps that are increasingly getting ubiquitous in the country following government’s push for a digital economy.


Partners


At the launch, Samsung Pay works with credit cards and debit cards issued by a handful of banks – Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India (only credit cards), and Standard Chartered Bank. The service has also integrated Citibank card holders apart from Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. The support for debit cards is handy since the former are more pervasive in India than credit cards.


The company has partnered with Axis Bank to facilitate payments via UPI and Samsung Pay also supports payments through mobile wallets, although at the launch, Paytm is the only service on board.


Supported Devices


Of course, Samsung Pay works only with top-tier smartphones from the company, and not across their portfolio which includes a big bunch of budget and mid-range smartphones that form the major share of devices sold in India.


At the moment, Samsung Pay works with select models in the Galaxy series. These include Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016 and 2017), and Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016 and 2017). And yes, Samsung Pay also works with Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch.



How to use Samsung Pay


Samsung Pay can be used for payments at retail outlets simply by waving your Samsung smartphone near a cash register. The service also accepts payments via QR codes – supporting UPI and Paytm through this method.


To make a payment, the user will need to fire the Samsung Pay app on the phone and once the vendor has entered the amount required to be paid on the POS machine, the payment needs to be authenticated through a PIN or user’s fingerprint on the app.



Do you have a Samsung Pay-supported smartphone, and are you looking forward to try out the service? Also, would Samsung Pay become a differentiating feature when you’re looking to buy a new smartphone next? Tell us in the comments!

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