It’s September 28th, and Samsung is officially launching Samsung Pay in the United States today. The mobile payment service isn’t the first, but it is the first to support groundbreaking technology such as magnetic secure transmissions, which is a standard card reading technology found in most modern PoS systems. That’s alongside the standard NFC-driven solution (which is also found in tons of PoS systems in the market today).
So, what do you need to know about today’s launch? There are OTA updates, offers, and — unfortunately — a couple of caveats to mention. Let’s lay it all out!
Compatible Samsung Galaxy Phones
Samsung Pay is only compatible with select Samsung Galaxy phones to start:
Samsung remains open to bringing the service to earlier Samsung handsets down the line, though any functionality would likely be limited to NFC as there are no devices from 2014 which come equipped with the technology needed to support MST.
Samsung Pay is compatible with Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and US Cellular here in the United States. Verizon is curiously missing from that last of the nation’s largest carriers, which is sad considering they’re the largest of them all.
It’s said Samsung and Verizon have yet to ink a deal to make the service available to Big Red customers, though they’re still working through some details so the possibility is still alive.
Some phones will need to be updated in order to get Samsung Pay. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular are issuing updates to all compatible Samsung phones this week, so be sure to check for an over-the-air software upgrade on your phone if you haven’t already received it. You can do this by heading to Settings > System > About Phone > Software update. Refer to your carrier’s support documents for your specific phone for further information.
Banks and Cards
The list of compatible cards is a bit slim to start. You’ll need a MasterCard, Visa or American Express card from Bank of America, Citi, American Express or U.S. Bank if you want in on the fun. Again, this list is likely to grow over time.
Samsung Pay can be used at nearly any store that has a wireless payment terminal or a terminal that accepts magnetic stripe credit cards. This makes it the most widely-accepted mobile payments platform available. Samsung Pay even works with mobile card readers like Square! If there’s a favorite store you visit frequently, Samsung Pay is likely to work no matter which technology they use, so just give it a try!
There aren’t many interesting offers for those who sign up for Samsung Pay right now, but those who have recently purchased the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge Plus might be in line for a free wallet case or a Samsung wireless charger for activating a credit card on Samsung Pay.
This promotion is valid from 12:00AM EST Sept 28, 2015 through 11:59PM EST October 11, 2015. You’ll get a unique promo code to use on Samsung’s website, and that code must be redeemed before November 15th, 2015.
Note that some items may be on backorder so you’ll have to wait a bit for them to ship, but free is free!
Try it out!
So there it is. If you are lucky enough to have the right combination of conditions met — including having a supported carrier, a phone and a card from a supported bank, give it a go and let us know how you’re liking it! We’ll be scouring the web for updates on more offers, details and other information as it pertains to Samsung Pay throughout the day and week, and we’ll be updating you if anything new pops up.