Gizmodo Tests Samsung Pay Around NYC, Gives Mixed Review

Gizmodos Michael Hession today published a video review of Samsung Pay. The video shows him using (and sometimes not using) the new payment technology around New York City.

Hession kicks off the video with some basic facts about Samsung Pay:

  • Works with Galaxy Note 5 and S6 EDGE+
  • Coming soon to S6 and S6 EDGE
  • Uses MST technology to work with any magnetic strip reader
  • Payment info is encrypted through tokenization

The video is embedded below for your viewing pleasure:

We should note that Samsung Pay uses mag stripe technology (which it obtained by acquiring LoopPay back in February); it’s not NFC, nor is it EMV (chip-and-pin) compatible.

The first location he used Samsung Pay in was McDonalds (accepts mobile payment and NFC). It worked like a charm. Next stop: Staples (accepts mobile payment and NFC). It worked again.

The reviewer tries Samsung Pay at a number of different businesses. It worked at 4/10 locations.

Then he tried to buy a New York subway pass. The terminal requires the user to dip” your card to purchase a pass. It didn’t work. Next, he went to a mom and pop grocery store (no mobile payment or NFC). The payment terminal let him enter his PIN but couldn’t read his Samsung Pay mag stripe.

After that, he tried it at a small supermarket (no mobile payment or NFC). This time, it worked.

However, he listed a number of businesses when the cashier takes your card to swipe it behind the till, for example. You wouldn’t pass the cashier your phone in these cases, which include food trucks, bodegas (locally-owned convenience stores), a mom and pop record store, and a pizza joint.

Samsung Pay also worked at a CVS drugstore (no mobile payment or NFC), where the cashier told him it wouldn’t work.

Mobile payments won’t take off until they work everywhere, and Samsung Pay doesn’t consider EMV requirements coming soon.

My biggest takeaway was that Samsung Pay works most of the time; the technology seems to be good,” he concluded. But the biggest roadblock is that most places don’t let you swipe your own card.

I don’t want to have to think about when I’m going to use my phone and when I’m going to use my wallet to pay… Until every single place you pay with a credit card allows you to swipe your own card, mobile payments aren’t gonna take off.”

I would agree. And again, Samsung Pay does not address the EMV chip-and-pin requirements coming to many U.S. retailers near you next month. I think that’s why Samsung pushed to launch Samsung Pay right before EMV came into the marketplace in full force.