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The Almighty Buck Technology

Samsung Pay Launches In the United States 105

An anonymous reader writes: Ready to take on Apple Pay and Android Pay, Samsung Pay is now live in the United States. The service has already launched in South Korea, where it saw over $30 million in transactions its first month. The Verge reports: "Samsung Pay may be more capable than other competing services, but its availability has some limits. First, it's only built into Samsung's newest devices: the Galaxy S6, the S6 Edge and Edge+, and the Note 5. You also need a credit or debit card from Visa, MasterCard, or American Express card, and it has to be issued by one of just a few banks: Bank of America, Citi, American Express, and US Bank are available at launch. (Samsung Pay also works with customer loyalty cards.)"
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Samsung Pay Launches In the United States

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  • by Jumunquo ( 2988827 ) on Monday September 28, 2015 @07:14PM (#50616541)

    I had this two years ago on my Samsung S5. It was called ISIS Wallet, and then after the rise of the same-named terror group, was renamed Softcard. Amex had a deal where they'd credit me back $1 per swipe (minimum $1 purchase), up to 50 times per month. Those were good times, if you could figure out where the magic tapping sweet spot was on your phone.

    Then, Apple Pay comes out, and it suddenly becomes cool. Except Rite Aid, CVS, etc. changed their machines to no longer accept any of the other payment systems just to block Apple Pay adoption because they planned to launch their own system this year under an alliance led by Walmart (which is still non-existent at this point).

    Then, Google bought Softcard, and just killed the service. I guess they just have cash to burn. And now Samsung re-launches the service as Samsung Pay. I feel like I'm back where I was two years ago, except I'm no longer paid to swipe, and there are even less places where I can tap to pay. Pardon me, but *yawn*.

    • Softcard + Google Wallet = Android Pay (kinda sort of, at least in spirit).

      Samsung Pay is basically LoopPay + NFC. The big deal about Samsung Pay is the LoopPay technology that lets it transmit a magnetic field that emulates a magnetic stripe, so it works at nearly all credit card terminals that support a magnetic stripe, not just those that have NFC enabled (which is what is required for Apple Pay and Android Pay).

      • Ah, that is neat. Unfortunately, from the reviews, everyone seems to say LoopPay works but is clunky, so until Samsung figures out a way to elegantly integrate it into their phones, it's not ready for prime time. This is sort of what I found with tap-to-pay as well. I don't use it anymore (since I stopped getting paid to use it) because swiping my plastic card is just easier, faster, and more reliable.

        What would really cool is not only an elegant implementation but also one that selects the correct cashb

    • by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Monday September 28, 2015 @11:12PM (#50617577) Homepage Journal

      Then, Google bought Softcard, and just killed the service. I guess they just have cash to burn.

      Google didn't buy Softcard. The Softcard coalition shut down and handed their users over to Google to transition to Google Wallet rather than leave them with nothing.

  • Yay! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Monday September 28, 2015 @07:24PM (#50616579)

    Another way to drain my wallet, yippee!

    It's like a dream come true. Thank you, corporate overlords!

    • by ruir ( 2709173 )
      So much more than that...War in real money, and having all your economic activities linked to you. A true gold mine for marketing and for the IRS. "How come you spend more than you earn? Free audits!"
  • Yawn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Monday September 28, 2015 @07:29PM (#50616601)

    I will happily take out my credit card from my wallet, which I have to carry ANYWAY (cash, driver's license, insurance cards, etc). To me it is no less accessible than my phone and far easier to use (find phone, unlock it, launch some stupid app, wait, make selections, whatever.... vs. swipe, click on OK, and perhaps sign). And my credit card, itself, is not always connected to a network, subject to remote hack, it also doesn't run out of battery. I really don't want yet another third party tracking what I do in addition to the credit company either.

    I just don't see the big whoop.

    • These mobile payment solutions offer tokenization, which I consider to be a pretty big advantage over using a card (especially in a setting where the card is handed over to the retailer).

      Also, your strawman description of the process tells me you've never tried, or even researched too deeply into the process of using the payments. Generally my phone is at least as easy to get to as my wallet, and there's no unlocking, app finding, selection making involved - just thumb on the fingerprint scanner.

      • Rarely do I ever hand my card to anyone (like maybe 1 in 100 transactions, when the card reader just doesn't work). And you are correct that I have not used mobile payments, but I have OBSERVED them, and I understand the process pretty well... at least as it was implemented in Google Wallet. And there is NO WAY I am voluntarily giving my finger print image to ANY entity, EVER.

        I am all for having more options, but I think it is silly how many people think this is going to "totally change" everything or tha

        • "Touch ID doesn't store any images of your fingerprint. It stores only a mathematical representation of your fingerprint. It isn't possible for someone to reverse engineer your actual fingerprint image from this mathematical representation." []
          • >"Touch ID doesn't store any images of your fingerprint. It stores only a mathematical representation of your fingerprint. "

            Yep, that is what they claim.

            But the device *is* scanning your finger. And you don't REALLY know what the closed-source software is actually doing. And not all devices even claim to be storing only the "representation". And even the representation CAN be used to identify latent prints. I prefer to be 100% sure by not using such a thing; EVER. Fingerprints are lousy biometrics t

            • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

              Your tinfoil hat is askew. Careful! The mind control microwaves might get through!

              • What an enlightened response. You were probably posting the same thing when people like me were warning that the government was domestic spying. But yeah, we were just paranoid, the government would never do that....

                • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

                  What an enlightened response. You were probably posting the same thing when people like me were warning that the government was domestic spying. But yeah, we were just paranoid, the government would never do that....

                  Your order of straw has arrived for the construction of your argument.

                  Who said I didn't believe the government was heavily involved in domestic spying? That has been obvious since the 50's. It has nothing to do with the level of paranoia expressed from believing that your fingerprint can be reverse engineered from a hash stored in your phone.

                  Can you recover my 35 character password after it's been salted and hashed?

                  • And yet we don't know if any particular device is only ever storing a hash (and only ever will). That is the primary issue. I simply have what I believe is a "healthy" paranoia based on observation and past experience regarding sensitive things outside our control and ability to examine.

        • by radish ( 98371 )

          A PIN doesn't help. The Target hack (and all the hundreds of similar attacks) took everything you enter on the pinpad, including the card number, expiry etc. If you entered a PIN they'd have that too. Using a contactless system the card number presented is one time use - you can grab whatever you like from the terminal and it's useless. So using Google/Apple Pay (I haven't read up on the Samsung one) is demonstrably more secure than a swipe card.

          Now of course it's not a financial loss we're guarding against

          • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

            A PIN doesn't help.

            For pin-based debit transactions, you're correct. For EMV-based "pin-and-chip" transactions, it would.

        • And there is NO WAY I am voluntarily giving my finger print image to ANY entity, EVER.

          Touched anything with your bare hands recently?

          • >Touched anything with your bare hands recently?

            That is my point, exactly. I am not voluntarily giving my prints and certainly not with my ID together. And that is the main reason why fingerprints are a horrible biometric.

    • Several states are exploring the possibilities of digital drivers licenses [], and many states already accept your insurance companies app on your phone as proof of insurance. So the days of having to carry a wallet are ending soon.
      • It only ends if you give up your right to non-spyable cash. Unless, of course, you just want to carry cash in your pocket instead...

        Besides, that not only doesn't address the "battery is dead" issue, it now further complicates things because I don't know about you, but I would never hand my PHONE to an officer!

        • Agree about handing over a phone to the officer.

          But 'battery is dead' doesn't happen much. About the same as 'wallet at home'. I just keep a USB charger in the car, home, and work.

        • I think it bears mentioning that these are pilot programs and being tested in a couple of jurisdictions. It's not standard practice yet. What it will probably develop into is more of a system whereby officers would have an NFC reader in their phone or device and you would transfer your drivers license and/or insurance information over to the officers NFC-capable device, and he would have limited access to view the information he needs without storing the data on his device permanently. Of course, in order f
      • by chihowa ( 366380 )

        Yikes! So you'd have to hand your unlocked phone to the officer, who would then presumably bring it back to his cruiser like he would ordinarily bring your license and insurance?

        There's no way for that to go wrong!

    • I don't see it, either.

      But I know several guys who want to get rid of their wallets. So they get phone cases which have an extra compartment. They keep their driver's license, a credit card, and a $20 bill in the compartment and everything else is digital.

      It's interesting and none of them mention being hacked (yet). But I certainly don't have enough trust in a phone manufacturer to do this.

  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Monday September 28, 2015 @07:47PM (#50616697)
    Whatever Apple does, Samsung does it, or will do it. Is there is anything Samsung did, then Apple catches up? (big things, not the keyboard color). Shouldn't we have more empathy for the creators, less for the copiers.
    • by Jumunquo ( 2988827 ) on Monday September 28, 2015 @08:41PM (#50616965)

      NFC pay, large screen size, watch, etc - they are just cloning too. Now they have third-party apps on Apple TV (like Android boxes since day 1) and a clone of the MS Surface. They still haven't caught up in waterproofing their phone. The fingerpoint sensor is pretty much their only "first" in the last several years. Let's face it - Apple has stagnated, and the competition has caught up.

      What Samsung did with the S6, though, is just pathetic. The microSD slot, the removable battery, and the waterproofing were what made the previous S5 differentiated. Rather than integrate all the improvements in the market, they decided they'd make a truly worse carbon copy of the iPhone. Any news on that modular Google phone?

      • by sootman ( 158191 )

        > Any news on that modular Google phone?

        Yeah. August 8, 2015 -- Delayed. []

        The funny thing is, it should be SO EASY for Samsung to compete with Apple. The iPhone is practically a stationary target.* You know when the next one will be out: late Summer/early Fall. You know what they'll be like: thinner. Samsung should go after the low-hanging fruit and do what Apple won't. Here, Samsung, I'll give you the first two for free:
        1. Offer 32 or 64 GB storage at the entry level.
        2. Make it a few mm thicker with 2x th

    • by radish ( 98371 )

      I'm a big fan of Apple Pay, but this thing is actually new. It doesn't use NFC and works on any swipe reader, unlike Apple/Google Pay.

      Shame it'll be useless soon when we switch to chipped cards!

    • It certainly made sense in Korea, where Samsung has a 46% market share and Apple ~24%.

      In the US? It's almost exactly the opposite - Apple has nearly a 50% market share, and Apple half that.

      What the hell were they thinking?

    • You mean like offer payment systems on the mobile, which is something I did with my Galaxy S3 some 3 years before Apple "invented" the idea? Or maybe release a smartwatch which they did several years before Apple? Or maybe offer a mid sized tablet before Apple? Or release a system with a stylus which they did before Apple?

      Tell me, does drinking only Apple flavoured koolaid still mess with your digestive system or did you build up a tolerance?

      • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

        They were both developing a watch at the same time. Samsung released early because they thought Apple was close to being ready, and as a result came out what that hilariously laughable Gear that was virtually unusable it also wasn't "several years" before Apple's watch hit market. Surprise surprise, by the time Apple is ready to launch Samsung has improved the Gear into a market ready product. Who knew that you actually need development time?!

        Apple's first tablet was not the first tablet ever by a long shot

        • Lol. Samsung were working on a watch before Mac rumours even suggested the idea. As for unusable, it doesn't seem any different to the iWatch, I've used both and both are equally useless though at least Samsung's has longer battery life.

          Who said anything about first tablet? Please read my post before rebuffing. I was talking about the iPad mini. The one that Apple said it would never do until they saw the success of the Galaxy Note series and then had to be in the market.

          As for stylus, please. Comparing the

          • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

            Lol. Samsung were working on a watch before Mac rumours even suggested the idea. As for unusable, it doesn't seem any different to the iWatch, I've used both and both are equally useless though at least Samsung's has longer battery life.

            Who said anything about first tablet? Please read my post before rebuffing. I was talking about the iPad mini. The one that Apple said it would never do until they saw the success of the Galaxy Note series and then had to be in the market.

            As for stylus, please. Comparing the tablet market of today to the Newton is grasping for straws. Especially since it was Apple who said you shouldn't have a stylus on a tablet... oh until they decided they needed a iPad Pro to compete with Samsung.

            mmmm Apple juice.

            Of course it's grasping at straws - it's making fun of your entire straw man argument.

            Also, you have it wrong on the iPad Pro - Apple aren't competing with Samsung there, they're competing with Microsoft. The Surface Pro is the reason Apple made the iPad Pro. Samsung had nothing to do with it. You should at least try to have a small understanding of Apple's competitors before trying to look smart. Of course, you did it because you're trying to use it to bolster your "Apple stole the stylus idea from Samsung

      • Please point out anyone in official capacity claiming that Apple "invented" contactless payment.

        Yeah, didn't think so.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Samsung did mobile payments before Apple. It was called ISIS Wallet. They changed the name to something else, and now it has become Samsung Pay.

      Samsung did a tablet with stylus, and in a 12" form factor many years before Apple did. They invented the "phablet", which Apple eventually copied with the iPhone 6+.

    • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

      Large phone screens I think - that was arguably Samsung's big play and it paid off (people seem to love them).

      Apple realised that the demand was there after those giant Galaxies started selling really well.

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Monday September 28, 2015 @08:17PM (#50616849)
    Does it really take 2%-3% of the dollar value of each transaction to debit one bank account and credit another? That's what you're being indirectly charged when you use a credit card to buy something (the merchant has to pay that much, so they adjust their prices to compensate). Mobile payments had the chance to overthrow the entrenched credit card companies which are enriching themselves by setting up a tollbooth for all electronic transactions. The actual cost is probably somewhere around 0.1%-0.5%. The industry needs a good competitive kick in the pants to get rid of this profiteering. But instead [Android/Apple/Samsung] Pay are just setting themselves up as another way to buy stuff using your credit card, without physically using your credit card.

    And no, the credit card does not protect you from fraud. The credit card companies have gamed it so the merchant pays for fraud, so you're already paying for fraud in the purchase price of whatever it is you're buying. The credit card transaction fees and exorbitant interest rates pay for people who become delinquent on their credit card bills and never pay the credit card company back.
    • A while back, merchants won a lawsuit against credit card companies, allowing them to offer discounts for cash payments. This is most visible at gas stations: []
      So in essence, the "revolution" could happen now, yet the cash revolution hasn't really caught on.

      Why? I don't know. Maybe the merchants like playing this game of marking things up 3% and then earning extra on the debit and cash users? Maybe people like playing the game of juggling around their cashback credit cards

    • perhaps the fee that the credit card companies charge is related to the fraud protection and overhead that is involved with false charges and the related unrecoverable debts of cardhilders.
    • Walmart and a consortium of other retailers is in the process of rolling out CurrentC [], which is another mobile payment platform. The key difference between CurrentC and Apple/Android/Samsung Pay is that it does not use NFC, and uses a more clunky QR code instead, that is scanned at the point of purchase. CurrentC does not go through the credit card system, because Walmart and other retailers want to avoid the credit card surcharge. Instead, they use the ACH system connected directly to your checking account
    • so they adjust their prices to compensate).

      If they've already adjusted their prices to account for this, then there isn't an incentive to pay with cash since you're paying the same price whether you're paying with cash or card (yes, there are a few places that charge less for cash, but they are far and few between).

    • Somebody has to pay for all that fraud. Yes there is some profit going on, because the companies wouldn't do it otherwise, but there is a lot of criminal activity going on, and our society has decided that the good hardworking people ought to pay for the consequences of those who decide to abuse the system and also to pay for the incarceration of such people in the event that they are caught. Whenever a corporation is busted for stealing money from somebody, we insist they pay it back with interest (which I
    • by b0bby ( 201198 )

      In addition to the fraud etc, there is the fact that for someone like me who pays their balance each month, the credit card company is loaning me the money at no interest. That's not free. Plus they actually give me 1-2% of my purchases as cashback. I'm all in favor of reducing the transaction costs, but I don't see it happening so meanwhile, I'll try to get the most out of the system we have.

  • Why should I try this service instead of google wallet? Gw works perfectly fine for me.
    • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

      Samsung's trump card here is the tech that allows it to work with credit card readers that don't have NFC tech (although it also works with those obviously) by using a device that works via the mag stripe reader.

      They're hoping that there's going to be enough of those terminals still around to gain some traction, although they chose an odd time to release it since those types of terminals are being phased out due to the big shift in fraud liability in the US. They will be around for some time to come, howeve

      • Effectively, those terminals will be around for a while. Little liquor store around America will Not follow new restrictions/standards.
  • I tried it out with my American Express card. I used it against a normal magnetic card reader and it detected my card as being swiped. For once Samsung made something that actually works as intended.

    A neat little bonus is that I now get push notifications whenever my credit card is charged. If anybody steals my credit card, I will know the instant they try to charge something to it.

  • I read the headline as "Samsung Pays Lunches in the US" and wondered what weird out-of-court settlement they now had agreed to.

  • Samsung just likes to re-brand Google's products. Google voice becomes "S Voice", Google Keep becomes "S Memo". I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung Pay is actually Google Pay re-branded.
  • ...does it need carrier support? What the hell does Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T or whomever the fuck sells the data plan (or the phone, or both) have to agree on? Is it not enough that MasterCard, Visa and the banks and retailers have to agree on supporting (yet another fucking) phone payment system, that the damn carrier wants in too? Fuck! Are these people idiots?

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake