Poll: Is MST a necessity or luxury when it comes to mobile payments?

In late 2016, there are plenty of various mobile payment services to choose from. Android and Apple Pay are easily the two biggest and most popular choices out there, but Samsung has also done quite a lot to make a name for themselves with Samsung Pay that first debuted on the Galaxy S6 line last year. The reason for that? Samsung Pay uses a combination of NFC and MST.

With Android and Apple Pay, the services are limited to using just NFC - Near Field Communications. In order for these services to work, you need to make sure that the store you're at has an NFC terminal so that you can use your phone to pay. With Samsung Pay on the other hand. the service uses a combination of both NFC and MST - Magnetic Secure Transmission. MST is the kind of tech you find with traditional debit and credit card readers, meaning that you can use your phone to pay with Samsung Pay even if you're at a store that doesn't have an NFC reader.

With that being said though, MST is a much older solution than NFC, and as Android and Apple Pay become more and more popular, more and more stores are adding NFC terminals so that they can hop on the mobile payment bandwagon. With the recent news though that LG will be including MST technology in the upcoming LG G6 with their own mobile payment system, it got us to thinking. Is just an NFC chip in a phone enough for an enjoyable experience when using mobile payments, or do you need a combo of both NFC and MST?

Is NFC enough on its own, or do you need it in conjunction with MST when using your phone as a payment solution?

NFC is being adopted at a fast enough rate and MST is obsolete
It's worth the added time and money to add MST tech to smartphones



1. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

MST is quite obsolete, in my country MST has been phased out a few years ago. Mainly because of security issues.

3. Tziggy14

Posts: 626; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

Not here in the US.

7. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Where it really matters. We are still using mst.

5. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

Wow, in my country NFC won't come for the next 100 years.

2. pmsap

Posts: 105; Member since: May 26, 2015

PA, you should add the option of "I don't even have the option in my home country".

4. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

Talk about irrelevant thumbnails.

6. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Mobile payments aren't a necessity. But, if you're going to use them, it's best to have a many options as possible. I just Samsung Pay only because the chip is so slow here in the US. It speeds it up. Once they make the chip as quick, I'll probably go back.

15. tigermcm

Posts: 861; Member since: Sep 02, 2009

takes like 20 years to get chip in the US and now it takes 20 minutes to process your charge smh

16. AlikMalix unregistered

The chip is actually pointless to a consumer. It protects the merchant more. Chip became more popular only because the banks made merchants responsible for fraudulent transactions (cloned cards, etc.). I think Samsung way is the best for security and convenience until everyone is up to date with NFC payments.

9. det_bradlee

Posts: 163; Member since: Jun 08, 2015

MST FTW! I used Google Wallet wherever possible for years before I got my S6e (and before the transition to Android Pay). Now I use SP MST absolutely everywhere.

10. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

It is required. If Samsung Pay didn't have it, It would be utterly useless. Base on the places I frequent, I would say roughly a 3rd work with Apple Pay. Walgreen's, McDonald's, and this Italian Eatery I frequent all accept Apple pay along with Subway's. But most of the other places I go too, like Costco, Target's, Sams's,Home Depot and more do not. If Apple Pay had MST, it would certainly be more useful. Retailers aren't going to spend the money to drop NFC PoS equipment. The company I do work for, they do inside cabling for PoS stuff, and many of those places are using displays that have the built-in readers. So those wont take Apple Pay. I have gone to a few local places that have those card readers on the side of displays, and I have held my phone up to a few and have them work with Samsung Pay. One guy at Jerk a local eatery here, he thought I was handing him my phone. I was like nah, just paying for my order. he was surprised it worked and so was I. In the USA, MST is a must because ALL retailers here have swipe card readers. In Europe and other places, I know NFC is a much bigger deal. But Samsung Pay works with that too. So Samsung certainly chose the best option. To fully support was is existing, and support the up and coming. While Apple though them using NFC was going to bring them a windfall of cash. Apple has the banks on-board, but they have an acceptance problem. Even if 100% of the banks worked with Apple Pay, less than 15% of retailers have the hardware for it. Which is why they all should do for Samsung Pay, because they don't have to upgrade equipment at the stores. It already works in most stores who aren't using old NCR equipment.

17. AlikMalix unregistered

I agree with most you said except for: I get to use Apple Pay in 85% of my transactions. There far more places that accept it either officially or unofficially (it still works even though the merchant doesn't know their machines accept Apple Pay). A lot of local mom-and-pop stores and service areas accept it. Your list above for Apple Pay accepted retailers is very very wrong. But yes, Samsung wins by a mile, but although it does not work all the time in places that don't officially accept mobile payments like Home Depot. In my experience about half the times you have to try once or twice again to make Samsung pay work!

18. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Samsung Pay didn't work initially at Home Depot, but the last several times I've gone it has worked.

11. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1346; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

I don't use mobile payments but at this still early stage MST is necessary. If you pay attention to all the different stores you likely visit on a given month only 20-30% of them are up to date with Apple/Android payments. This is in the California bay area which is home to both Google and Apple.

12. traitortohisownheart

Posts: 16; Member since: Sep 17, 2014

Samsung pay has saved my life (or at least many pissed off trips home to get my wallet) on dozens of occasions to the point I'll no longer consider a phone without it. I've heard gear s2 and s3 have it, just don't know if it works without a galaxy device compatible with MST. Next to fast charging, it's the second feature I won't choose to love without...

13. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Samsung Pay on the Gear watches is NFC only.

14. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I should say it's NFC only on the Gear S2. I haven't looked into the S3, but I think I read it was NFC only, also.

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