Samsung Pay has arrived – Here’s what you need to know

Date:22 August 2018 Author: Brendon Petersen Tags:, ,

Samsung Pay is now officially available in South Africa (the only country on the African continent to currently supported) after moving out of its initial beta test phase.

Unlike other chashless payment options which rely on NFC (near field communication), Samsung Pay uses both MST (magnetic secure transmission) which means that you’ll be able to use it at almost any existing payment terminal.

“Samsung Pay works almost anywhere you can swipe, insert or tap a card, so as the first country in Africa to implement this, we are hugely excited about how it’s going to transform our customers’ lives”, says Craige Fleischer, Vice President of Integrated Mobility for Samsung South Africa. “Samsung Pay is committed to driving the mobile wallet movement in Africa, and this launch furthers Samsung’s dedication to delivering innovative services to consumers everywhere” adds Fleischer.


Security is of the utmost importance when using technology like this which is why Samsumg Pay is secured by the company’s defence-grade Samsung Knox security platform and biometric authentication through iris or fingerprint scanning. Additionally, tokenization ensures that your actual card information is never exposed during a transaction, making every payment more secure.


Samsung Pay is currently available for Absa and Standard Bank customers with supported Mastercard and Visa payment cards. Avios credit cards, British Airways credit cards and Virgin Money cards are also supported. Samsung Pay also supports the ability to load loyalty cards, so it’s not just about spending money; it also enables seamless point or miles-gathering.


Tshipi Alexander, Head of Consumer Issuing at Absa Retail and Business Banking, says, “Making a payment has become so much more than just making a transaction and is now also about the experience. Therefore, many of the developments in financial technology we have introduced over the past few years have been about making the buying process quicker and more convenient. The arrival of Samsung Pay now gives Absa customers even more choice on how they can make payments. It will allow them to make simple, quick and highly secure payments with their Samsung phone when purchasing goods at most retailers on both contactless and non-contactless terminals where they currently use their Absa cards – without ever having to get their card from their wallet,”


Ethel Nyembe, Standard Bank SA Head of Card Issuing, says, “We want to make sure that Standard Bank’s payment solutions become the preferred choice for digital experiences – whether it be traditional cards, virtual cards, tap to pay, or Samsung Pay. Customers retain their plastic cards, but we are making sure that people who want to go beyond traditional payment methods can now participate in an exciting mobile payments world, which is getting bigger every day.”


How does it work?

To start using Samsung Pay, Samsung users with eligible devices, should upgrade to the latest software version and download the Samsung Pay app from the Google Play store, register or log in to their Samsung account, select a preferred method of verification by fingerprint, iris scan or PIN, scan a debit, credit or cheque card with the camera and verify the card details.


To make payments, simply launch the Samsung Pay app by swiping up from the home screen or lock screen, authenticate with your iris, fingerprint or PIN, then tap or hold your Samsung device close to the payment terminal. Because Samsung Pay works on both magnetic secure transmissions (MST) and near-field communication (NFC) point of sales terminals, vendors will not need to change their current point of sale machines to accommodate this breakthrough technology.


Mark Elliott, Division President at Mastercard, Southern Africa, says, “We have been a pioneer of mobile commerce innovation for years and are excited to work with Samsung to deliver new frictionless payment options to consumers, in turn helping to accelerate the adoption of digital payments in South Africa. Every Samsung Pay transaction made with Mastercard is highly secure. A critical part of this is our ability to tokenise cardholder details, where a ‘token’ and not a real card number is provided to the shop, offering both consumers and retailers all the safety benefits and guarantees of a transaction made with a physical card.”


Geraldine Mitchley, Head of Digital Solutions for Visa in Sub Saharan Africacommented:

“We are thrilled to expand mobile payment options for Visa cardholders in South Africa. Today’s launch of

Samsung Pay gives Visa cardholders a mobile payment solution that is further strengthened by the security of Visa Token Service technology and which enables safe and easy contactless in-store payments with their Samsung mobile. Considering the number of smart phone users in South Africa is expected to reach over 25 million by 2022, we are seeing that the phone is the one item people always have with them and Visa supports payment solutions that fit people’s changing lifestyles.”





Which Samsung Devices Support Samsung Pay?

  • Galaxy Note9
  • Galaxy Note8
  • Galaxy S Series
  • Galaxy S9|S9+
  • Galaxy S8|S8+
  • Galaxy S7|S7 Edge
  • Galaxy A Series
  • Galaxy A8
  • Galaxy A7*
  • Galaxy A5*

*Will be supported in September 2018.


Which Cards Can I Upload to Samsung Pay?

  • Absa
  • Mastercard
  • Visa
  • British Airways
  • Avios
  • Virgin Money
  • Loyalty cards can also be loaded onto Samsung Pay, making the gaining of points or miles that much more convenient.
  • More banks and cards will be added in future

If you have a supported Absa Credit, cheque or debit card from Visa and Mastercard or a Standard Bank Credit or cheque card from Mastercard during the early access period you will be able to enrol your payment card and make payments with Samsung Pay. Anyone else with a compatible device will be able to install the Samsung Pay application and enjoy the user interface and enrol loyalty cards only.


Are debit cards accepted?

Both Absa credit and debits cards are accepted

At this stage, only the Standard Bank credit card is accepted. Samsung is working very closely with Standard Bank to ensure that the service is available on Debit cardholders soon.


Will Samsung Pay work for any of the other local banks (Nedbank, Investec, FNB)?

Samsung Electronics, is working very closely with the other banks make Samsung Pay available. Once the Banks have done the Visa and/or Mastercard tokenization implementation, then such a bank can be on-boarded for Samsung pay.


What should I do if I lose my original payment card and then receive a replacement card?

If you lose your original payment card and then receive a replacement card, you need to remove the original digital card from Samsung Pay and register the replacement card.


How many cards can I register into Samsung Pay?

The number of cards you can enrol is bank dependent. Consult with your bank for more information. There is no limit on the number of loyalty cards.


What should I do if I have trouble adding a payment card to Samsung Pay?

Please contact your bank and verify that you bank card is eligible for Samsung Pay. Samsung Pay also requires an active internet connection when adding each card. Verify that you are connected to the internet via a Wi-Fi network or your mobile data connection. For mobile data, data charges may apply.


Can I register the same card with more than one device using Samsung Pay?
Yes. The total number of devices you can add a card may vary depending on your bank. Please contact your bank for more details


Is Samsung Pay blocked when entering the PIN, fingerprint and/or iris incorrectly?
A. The user can make 5 attempts to unlock the application by authenticating with their fingerprint and/or Iris. After 5 failed attempts Samsung Pay will no longer accept a Fingerprint or Iris for authentication. The user will have 20 attempts to enter the correct PIN, thereafter all Samsung Pay data will be deleted and all linked cards will be deregistered.


The card image I see in Samsung Pay does not match my physical card. Is there an issue with my card?

No, the card displayed in Samsung Pay might not always exactly match your physical card


Does Samsung Pay store my personal/payment information on a server or my device?

No. Samsung does not store your payment information on a Samsung server or your smartphone.


Will my Samsung Pay information still be on my device if it is formatted?

No. Formatting your device will remove all bank cards registered to your device.


What should I do if my device is lost or stolen?

  1. Don’t panic, as your information is safe due to Samsung’s KNOX technology;
  2. Contact your bank to terminate or suspend the digital tokens in Samsung Pay.
  3. Visit Samsung’s Find My Mobile service to lock Samsung Pay or to wipe your phone.


Does Samsung Pay have access to my bank accounts?

No. Samsung Pay does not have access to your bank accounts

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