After launching in the US and Korean markets, Samsung Pay seems set to next land in the United Kingdom and Spain. This news comes ahead of the expected launch of the company's Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones at its Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event in Barcelona on February 21st, 2016.
During an address at Samsung European Forum 2016 held in Monaco, Head of Samsung Pay Europe, Nathalie Oestmann said that the company's payment services would be "coming to the UK and Spain very soon this year" and that "more details [will follow] at MWC [Mobile World Congress] in a few weeks time".
Samsung's main competition in the smartphone arena, Apple, already launched its Apple Pay service last year in the UK and, as such, Samsung needs to make swift inroads to catch up. One key differentiator which help is that Samsung Pay will work with almost any new or existing credit card terminals which support either NFC or MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technology. In contrast Apply Pay is limited to using NFC only effectively limiting the number of terminals on which it can be used.
MST imitates the magnetic strip on a credit card by transmitting a magnetic signal to the credit card terminal over a short distance in lieu of a physical swipe. Also, similar to Apple Pay, the card information is tokenized to prevent fraud and plain text storage anywhere between the terminal and the credit card payment network. Samsung had acquired MST technology as part of its purchase of LoopPay last year.
Later this year, Samsung Pay will also roll out to other markets including Australia, Brazil and Singapore following an announcement by Samsung at CES 2016.