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August 10th, 2016 by


Mobile payment apps such as SnapScan, FlickPay and Zapper have become fairly common in certain locations across South Africa, in fact many restaurants, stores and even online retailers are accepting these new digital payment methods. 

Using these services requires you to have a bank account to which the service is linked. All you need to do is download the app of your choice, set up a profile along with the required security measures and you’re good to go. 

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I’ve been using these apps for the past year and the only problem I have with them is how easy it is to buy things (although that might say more about me than about the apps). 

While these apps might be rising in popularity, they’re still only available locally and do not have the global reach and usability of payment services such as Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay. 

These services are built into the device, whether it be an iPhone, Samsung or Android smartphone and require nothing more than you creating an account or linking it to the account you use for services available on said devices. 

Craige Fleischer, Director of Integrated Mobility at Samsung Electronics South Africa, announced at the Samsung Unpacked 7 livestream event in Johannesburg that they were in talks with local banks and other relevant parties to bring Samsung Pay to the country. 

How does it work?

Samsung Pay uses a combination of NFC (Near Field Communication) as well as MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission). 

NFC allows two electronic devices to “speak” to each other provided that both have NFC enabled and they are within approximately 4cm of each other. This technology is currently available on most smartphones and can be used to transmit data of any sort. 

MST mimics the magnetic strip found on your bank card. It sends a magnetic signal from your device to the payment terminal’s card reader (to emulate swiping a physical card without having to upgrade the terminal’s software or hardware).

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Is it safe?

Samsung Pay does not keep personal account numbers on your smartphone. Combined with tokenization – replacing sensitive card data with a unique, secure token to prevent fraud – Samsung Pay is more secure than using a traditional payment card, at least that’s what the company says.

As extra assurance, Samsung’s payment security is enhanced by KNOX (Samsung’s mobile security platform) which is rated by Gartner as the most secure mobile platform on the market.

Both Visa and Mastercard are partners with Samsung on this payment method which should bring peace of mind to many people as well as ensure compatibility and ease of use no matter where you are. 
“We are excited to work with Samsung as they deliver Samsung Pay to consumers around the globe,” said Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer, MasterCard. “The security and simplicity we are able to deliver through our digital enablement service is rapidly changing the way consumers can shop. The launch of Samsung Pay will continue to drive momentum for mobile payments and provide a broader set of digital experiences.”

How do I use it?

Swipe from the bottom of the screen to the top to access your payment cards (accessible from the Home screen even if the display is locked or dark). If necessary, swipe to the left or right to access the desired card.

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Place your finger on the Home button key to verify your identity. If you are using your Samsung Pay PIN, touch PIN and enter your four-digit code. 

Place the back of your device against the card or NFC reader on the payment terminal.

If the connection is unsuccessful or too much time has elapsed, touch the retry icon to retry the payment. You will not be required to verify your identity.

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If necessary, complete the transaction on the payment terminal. For example, if you are using a debit card, you are still required to enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Some merchants/terminals may prompt you to verify the total charges are correct, while others will require a signature.

Samsung Pay is expected to launch in South Africa in Q1 of 2017. 

 

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