Samsung Pay Has Some Serious Advantages Over Competitors, Could Take Lead In Mobile Pay Field

Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook calling 2015 the ‘Year of Apple Pay,’ Samsung could be the main driver of m-commerce.

While other mobile payment options like Apple Pay and Android Pay are struggling, the recently released Samsung Pay comes with some features that are putting it at a distinct advantage over the competition.

Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook predicting 2015 to be the “year of Apple Pay,” the company’s mobile pay system has yet to live up to those expectations. The field of mobile payment is still new and while Cook may not have meant Apple Pay would dominate the market, he probably was expecting better than just 1 percent of all retail purchases in the country, according to research group Aite.

Android Pay is in the same boat, not making a huge splash when it was released in early September. Samsung Pay on the other hand, which was released on Monday, could already be doing better than either of its main competitors. The reason for that comes from a crucial feature packaged with Samsung Pay that the others don’t

In the year since Apple Pay launched, the amount of stores where it is usable has reached only 1.5 million. Android Pay is better, launching with a million locations right from the start. The relative lack of the hardware needed to interface with Apple Pay and Android Pay’s NFC system has been a major limiting factor their popularity. Samsung Pay’s greatest strength is that in addition of NFC, the system also uses “magnetic secure transmission,” or MST, making it usable on almost 80 percent of existing, magnetic swipe card readers.

CAN Capital previously reported that 87 percent of small businesses have no way of reading mobile payments, making the potential uses for Apple Pay and Android Pay painfully small. If Samsung’s claim that its system is usable with existing hardware is true, that could be a huge potential advantage it has on the competitors.

Of course usability is not the only thing that’s been holding back mobile payments in the year since Apple Pay debuted. Security has been the number one concern causing many to temper their adoption. Here too Samsung has an advantage using a system that “tokenizes” the information sent from the device to the card reader, transferring temporary data and not giving out the device’s permanent information.

Within one week, Samsung Pay has launched with features that could strongly combat the two biggest roadblocks to mobile payments: security and ubiquity. If its competitors step up their game in response, the healthy competition could yield even more incentives for users who have held off on using their phones as wallets to dive in.

About The Author
Daniel Parisi Daniel Parisi @daniel_parisi_

Daniel Parisi is a New York City-based writer and recent graduate of the University of Maryland. Daniel specializes in coverage of mobile payments, loyalty programs, and the Internet of Things.