In the eternal war between Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay, the world's largest smartphone maker just scored another -- minor -- victory. Millions of customers from Australia's second largest bank can now use Samsung's phones and smartwatches instead of their credit and debit cards to pay at almost any NFC payment terminal around the country.
Although for the average user there's not a great deal of difference, Samsung Pay is technically superior to Apple Pay or Android Pay in that -- because it only works on a certain number of Samsung phones and Samsung's Gear S2 and Gear S3 smartwatches -- it can also emulate the MST magnetic strip on physical cards, which can be useful for payment terminals that don't have NFC support already.
It's also a convenient time for Samsung to switch on its newest feature -- a NFC provisioning feature, which lets customers add cards into Samsung Pay by tapping them on the back of the phone, rather than taking a photo of the card itself with the phone or by -- ugh -- entering details manually.
Samsung already has Citibank's Mastercard and Visa credit card holders on board, as well as American Express, so Westpac's various debit and credit cards will massively bolster the roster of Samsung Pay payment methods available. Westpac customers will be able to add their cards to Samsung Pay from 8AM on Tuesday morning.
Samsung Pay supports loyalty cards now, so you won't have to carry them all around in your wallet (or forget them entirely). There are 18 "loyalty partners" on board for the launch, including Dymocks, ToysRus, Oporto and Sanity. Remember Sanity? Apparently it is still around, and has a loyalty card!
Samsung Pay launched in Australia last week, and while the service aims to eventually replace your entire wallet utilising NFC (contactless) and MST (magnetic strip) technologies -- membership and loyalty cards included -- our time with the service shows this might be some way off in the future.
Samsung Pay wants to replace your wallet. Your bank cards, membership cards, loyalty cards, and even -- in the future -- your Opal card. Already available in Korea, the US, China and Spain, now Australians can access the service, with Citibank and American Express the first partners on board.