At last, Samsung Pay is available in the UK. The mobile wallet has long been a staple of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones in the United States and South Korea, and now it’s confirmed that UK users can get in on the act too.
So, what’s the deal? How do you get it? And has your bank signed up? Read on and we’ll tell you five things you need to know about Samsung Pay in the UK.
1) It’s ready now
Samsung launched Samsung Pay here in the UK on 16th May, meaning that it’s available to use now.
Like Apple Pay, it allows for payments at contactless payment terminals and on London’s transport network. And similarly, it requires an added security step to make transactions, meaning only you can use your phone to pay for stuff.
2) Good to go on the Galaxy S8 and a host of others
According to Samsung, its mobile wallet works with the brand-new Galaxy S8 and S8+, plus last year’s Galaxy S7 range and 2015’s Galaxy S6 devices.
On the latter models, users can make payments securely by entering a pass code or pressing down on their phone’s fingerprint scanner. Owners of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ can also authorise payments via their phone’s iris recognition tool.
Older phones will be compatible ‘in the coming months’, according to the mobile maker.
3) ‘Transport card’ smarts
Samsung has teamed up with Transport for London (TfL) to help make paying for bus, tube and train rides as easy as possible.
Users can nominate a ‘transport card’ which can then be used by simply placing the phone on an Oyster card reader, with no need to wake it up from sleep mode or use authorisation. That’s a significant tweak for Londoners and should make Samsung Pay easier to use than Apple Pay when travelling around the capital.
4) Initial partners
Samsung says that Samsung Pay will work with Visa and MasterCard cards from MBNA, Santander and Nationwide at launch.
Compared with Apple Pay, which has agreements with every major bank in the UK, that’s a very disappointing line-up at launch and means many from owners of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ may just use their contactless card instead.
5) But there’s more to come
That said, Samsung has said it will offer Samsung Pay to HSBC, first direct, AmEx and M&S bank customers soon. However, there’s no word on when, or indeed if, those who have accounts with Lloyds, Halifax, NatWest and Barclays will be able to try out the service.