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Samsung Pay is the Samsung way
4.5Overall Score
Name: Samsung Pay
Price (RRP): $free with a Samsung Galaxy smartphone or watch
Manufacturer: Samsung

Samsung Pay is as simple as using your Samsung Galaxy S, Note or Watch to make PayWave or MST payments anywhere.

Samsung Pay (website here) is exclusively for Samsung owners – and there are an awful lot of those in Australia. After all, it is the largest smartphone maker in the world by far, and its integrity is without question. Samsung Pay is its mobile wallet.

What is a mobile payment system – mobile wallet?

There are many ‘mobile wallet’ apps, but only three have a reasonable suite of banks, cards and services in Australia – Samsung Pay, Google Pay and Apple Pay.

Then there are peer-to-peer payment systems like Beem It (backed by the Commonwealth Bank, NAB, and Westpac) for small real-time payments to other Beem It users.

Each payment system, like the banks and credit cards, retains a small percentage of the transaction that is part of the overall merchant fee charged to the seller.

Other than that the credit or debit card/s you link to your mobile payment system guarantee payment. If you pay your credit card bills on time, then Samsung Pay costs nothing unless the merchant adds a fee for payment by credit card.

Some mobile payment systems allow for money transfers subject to the normal currency limits.

Privacy or risk issues?

Many wallet operators know when and where you made a purchase but generally not the granular data of what you bought. It is the same information that banks and credit card companies – Visa, MasterCard or Amex have!

The question is not so much what they all know but how they use the data. For example, Google is the ‘Master of Marketing’ and can see you buying a coffee every day. Another nearby coffee shop could ask Google to send you advertisements and special offers to entice you to move over.

Samsung does it differently. Samsung Pay doesn’t know where a Samsung Pay user has purchased, what product, or the product or price. Because payment transactions are tokenised, all the information is encrypted. And, Samsung does not sell pay data to third-parties so it is way more private.

On the whole, privacy regulations cover the big three apps – Samsung, Google and Apple – and the banks and credit/debit card merchants. Their security is so high that if they got hacked – heaven help us all.

As Samsung Pay resides in a Samsung phone or watch, protection involves a combination of factors.

First, if you use Samsung Pay the phone lock screen must have a pin, swipe, fingerprint or facial recognition to unlock it.

Second, the app needs a similar identification to use it.

Third, it uses a one-time token instead of your actual credit or debit card number. The device does not store card numbers.

Samsung Pay token

And if you use Samsung’s ‘Find My Mobile’ service, you can remotely lock your phone and delete payment cards stored the Samsung Pay app.