Samsung Pay is coming to Australia: 5 things to know

By @shannonIBT on
A man tries out Samsung Pay, Samsung's new mobile payment system at a Samsung Electronics' headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, April 4, 2016. Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

After its European exclusive debut, Samsung Pay is coming to Australia to compete with its contactless payment rivals, Apple Pay and Android Pay.

Here are five things you need to know before its launch.

1. Samsung Pay banks

American Express has signed with Samsung Pay, while Citibank’s commitment is still just a speculation. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group-issued MasterCard and Visa debit cards support Samsung Pay, as well as Bank of Melbourne, Bank SA, Macquarie, Westpac, Bendigo Bank, Cuscal, St. George and ING Direct.

Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank are not yet part of the list and it's unclear as to whether they will ever support them Samsung Pay.

Samsung Pay has been introduced in South Korea, United States, China, Singapore and Spain.

2. Samsung Pay launch date

Samsung Pay is scheduled to launch in Australia on June 15. Samsung first announced its intention to enter Australian market last February, the same month when the mobile giant acquired LoopPay.

3. Compatible Samsung Pay devices

Samsung’s version of contactless payment will be available only on the devices it created. Galazy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge +, Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, Note 5, A5 and A7. It is also available on Samsung’s Gear S2 Smartwatch.

4. Why Samsung Pay? 

According to Tech Radar, there is one thing that sets Samsung Pay above its competitors: an almost universal compatibility with any card terminal regardless of when it was built. The reason why Samsung Pay is limited only to its company’s smartphones (and smartwatch) is because the secret of its compatibility is in the handset’s make. Samsung’s latest phones are equipped with a magnetic strip similar to that of credit and debit cards. Because of this, Samsung Pay can emit the signals detected by old card terminals. Samsung Pay also uses the near-field communications (NFC) readers.

5. What the reviews on Samsung Pay are saying

PC Mag gave Samsung Pay a 4 out of 5 review after a hands-on experience. It came out on top of Apple Pay and Android Pay. Other reviews criticised Samsung for making it available only in their latest releases. Some reviewers also pointed out that most people wouldn’t be willing to buy a new phone for the sake of contactless payment.

More updates about Samsung Pay’s launch in Australia are expected soon.