Samsung has announced its new mobile payments system, unsurprisingly called Samsung Pay. It will apparently only work at first with the company’s latest flagship phones, the new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. Those phones launch on April 10; Samsung says the payments system will go live in the second half of this year.
In terms of managing payments in retail stores, Samsung Pay boasts one major advantage over Apple’s competing system. While Apple Pay requires near-field communication (NFC) pads to function, Samsung Pay is already compatible with any terminal with a standard magnetic stripe credit card reader—or with NFC if the business has already adopted it.
Samsung is building its pay system on technology it acquired when it bought LoopPay, which had a system it said was already compatible with 90% of existing credit card stripe-reading terminals.
At the moment, though, it doesn’t sound like Samsung Pay will offer much, if any, functionality inside apps. Apple, by contrast, offers a software development kit and other resources to developers who want to incorporate its payment system into their apps.
For security, Samsung Pay relies on Samsung KNOX, the company’s in-house end-to-end secure mobile platform, as well as fingerprint scanning and “advanced tokenization,” the company said in a press release. “Tokenization” means that transactions will use a one-time-use token instead of your credit card number for identification.
Screenshot via Samsung