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Think of Samsung Pay as your digital credit card – but it is a lot more

GadgetGuy has been using Google Pay for some time, and it is an excellent mobile wallet. But the fact that Samsung Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Active, Gear Sport/S3/S2 support Samsung Pay adds a level of convenience not in Google Pay.

So if you have a Samsung Galaxy Phone and/or Watch (list here under Compatibility), it’s a no brainer to go this way.

You need to bank with a Samsung Pay banking partner. It has a huge range of over 50 banking partners and credit unions. So, you can use most branded credit or debit cards issued by these partners.

Setting up Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay bank

Download the App from Google Play. During setup it will ensure you secure your lock screen and if the phone supports it adds iris identification (fool-proof and protected by Samsung Knox security) as well as a pin, pattern, and/or fingerprint.

Adding a credit, debit or stored value (pre-paid card) card is as simple as using the rear camera to gather the number and expiry date. Even well-worn cards with the silver lettering rubbed off are identified. Next, add the CVC number and the card is almost ready to use.

I added a Visa from the National and the app told me to ring the 13 number (provided on screen) to activate the card for Samsung mobile payments. As I had done this before for Google Pay, I appreciate that it adds a layer of security to the process. I called the number, keyed in my customer ID and telephone banking code and in a few seconds the card was good to go.

Similarly, the Galaxy Watch uses the Gear App and because it is a separate app to the mobile phone (so it can work independently) another call to the NAB activated the card for that device. Both the watch and the phone can make payments independently, even if there is no internet connection.

Using Samsung Pay

The majority of payment terminals (and NSW Opal card transport readers) use NFC (near field communications) PayWave.

You activate the app by swiping up from the bottom of the lock screen, select the card you want to use (you can have multiple credit or debit cards), authenticate it is you via iris, fingerprint or pin, and pass the back of the phone over the PayWave reader.

It works with the typical credit card machines, the big Commonwealth Bank machines, and interestingly the little ‘Square’ readers.

Samsung Pay use

Some card readers require a swipe known as Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST). I tried an MST reader and payment was flawless.

The only readers it will not work in are those that require the card to put into a slot lik an ATM.

In some countries, it supports 3D barcodes (popular in China) and SMS payments.

Loyalty Cards and more

Simply place loyalty cards with an NFC sim on the back of the phone. If they only have a barcode you can add them via the camera and if they have a number only then via the camera and manually.

Samsung Pay loyalty

We tried with non-sim Flybuys and Woolworths loyalty cards and these were fine by photographing the front and back.