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Samsung Pay goes official in SA

Samsung has launched its mobile payment service, Samsung Pay, in South Africa. It is now available in 24 markets worldwide, making the mobile wallet app the most widely accepted mobile payment platform.

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It enables users to make mobile payments using both MST (mag-stripe technology) and NFC (near-field communications). The first of its kind in Africa, it features the benefits of both a physical and mobile wallet to make in-store purchases safer and simpler.

Samsung Pay gives users full control of their digital payment journey by ensuring all transactions are secure and authenticated by the user,” the company stated. “Featuring Samsung’s defence-grade Samsung Knox security platform and biometric authentication through iris or fingerprint scanning, users can have peace of mind that their personal payment information is safe. Additionally, tokenization ensures that a user’s 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.

“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.”.

While cash might not be dead, and cards still dominate the payments landscape, the world of contactless payments is evolving faster than ever before. The way consumers make payments is changing faster than any area of financial services, impacted by rapid changes in digital technology, competitive forces and consumer demands.

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,”

Says Ethel Nyembe, Standard Bank SA Head of Card Issuing, “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.”

To start using Samsung Pay, Samsung users must upgrade to the latest software version for eligible Samsung Galaxy smartphones, 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, users launch the Samsung Pay app by swiping up from the home screen or lock screen, authenticate with their iris, fingerprint or PIN, then tap or hold their Samsung device close to the payment terminal. Because Samsung Pay works on both MST and NFC point of sales terminals, vendors do not need to change their current point of sale machines to accommodate this 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 Africa, commented: “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.”

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