Poll results: NFC may be newer, but MST still looks to carry a lot of value

Mobile payments may not be the most talked-about feature when it comes to smartphones, but there's no denying the convenience that they offer. Being able to go out and about and pay for your groceries and dinner with just your smartphone certainly is something straight out of the future, but as more and more phones come equipped with the tech that makes this possible, it's quickly becoming more of a reality with every day that passes.

The majority of mobile payment solutions use NFC to make the magic happen. Apple Pay and Android Pay are two of the most popular services out there for mobile payments, and they both exclusively use NFC for these payments to take place. NFC certainly is a pretty cool bit of tech, but in order for it to work when making a mobile payment, you need to make sure that the store or restaurant you're at has an NFC terminal that your phone can communicate with for the payment to go through. While the rise in popularity of Android and Apple pay has encouraged many more storefronts to get NFC terminals for their customers to use, there's another solution out there that exists.

When Samsung Pay launched last year with the Galaxy S6 line, Samsung tried something a bit different. Rather than relying on NFC for mobile payments, the company decided to use a mix of both NFC and MST technology. MST stands for Magnetic Secure Transmission, and it's the same tech found on the magnetic strip on your debit or credit card. Because of this, phones like the S6, S7, and Note 5 can be used to make payments at any store that has traditional terminals for debit and credit cards. This makes Samsung Pay much more widely available to use, and a recent report tipped us off that LG was working on implementing MST technology into their new mobile payment service that will supposedly launch with the LG G6.

This got us to thinking as to whether it was worth taking the time to implement MST tech into smartphones, or if OEMs should rely on the growth of NFC. We asked you what you thought, and the vast majority of our readers said that MST is something they'd like to see get added to more and more smartphones. The results can be found below, but if you didn't get a chance to participate in the poll, let us know your thoughts down in the comments!

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. Tziggy14

Posts: 624; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

Especially here in the US. Where MST transactions are still the norm. Samsung will do well here.

2. Ezio2710

Posts: 548; Member since: Aug 22, 2015

Soon Apple will follow Samsung this time also

3. Unordinary unregistered

Hopefully, because Samsung Pay doesnt support s**t compared to Apple Pay. Apple will benefit from this awesome tech while Samsung users scratch their heads why their banks or credit unions arent accepted.

7. cncrim

Posts: 1588; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

what? have you use the thing before put comment like that?

8. talon95

Posts: 1000; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

Samsung owns the tech, doubt it will ever come to Apple, even if other Android manufacturers license it from Samsung. I assume you're saying more Banks support apple pay than Samsung pay, because Samsung obviously works at 100x more retail stores. But Samsung has all major banks covered so the majority of people are good to go already.

4. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

No way. Samsung hold the patent of this technology.

5. gdawilson

Posts: 299; Member since: Jul 21, 2014

I feel like I'm in that small percentage of people that doesn't mind that extra 5 seconds of pulling out my wallet, plus card, rather than use my phone

9. talon95

Posts: 1000; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

True, but you don't have to cancel your credit card if you phone is stolen vs having your actual card stolen. And if the retail store is hacked your card number is safe and again you don't have to cancel your card, because it uses a different digital transaction number. You don't need a receipt to have a copy of what was charged and where Plus anyone can swipe and sign a bogus name or not sign at all when using a card, but you have to unlock the device to use Samsung Pay. You can also apply coupons from within the app. Really the best part is the reaction of the teller, it still blows their minds because few people actually realize the tech exists.

10. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Twice in the last month I have been out and ended up needing my wallet and I didn't have it. Luckily I was able to pay with my phone

12. curiousDillan

Posts: 46; Member since: May 26, 2015

Here in Canada, NFC is available in most places, but we use our chipped cards, not our phones.

15. k4ever

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 08, 2014

Samsung Pay is way better than Apple/Android Pay because of MST. In the brief time (2 months) that I owned my Note 7, I noticed Samsung Pay worked at every single store (in the Southern United States) that I attempted to use it at. I also noticed that about 3/4 of those same stores didn't take Apple Pay. I know this because the cashiers always made it a point to tell me in the middle of me making a payment that "we don't accept Apple Pay." It always confused them when the payment went through. I even had to go to customer service at one store to ensure I paid because the clerk didn't think that "Apple payment" really went through, even though I told her I wasn't using Apple Pay and the cleared payment was on the receipt. I used MST for almost all of these payments, even if the payment machine had a chip reader. Also, you are only required to pay with a chipped card if your card has a chip. You can still use a regular "unchipped" card at every single store I visit. Samsung Pay is the best because it works everywhere, unlike Apple/Android Pay and it is easy to use. Other manufacturers should definitely add MST and NFC to the devices like Samsung. This makes it easier on the customer. It will take years before magnetic strips go away.

16. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Depends on location then really doesn't it? Here in the U.K. everywhere has NFC, literally no-one has used MST in years.

18. Nopers unregistered

Don't forget that also if you want to use MST in the U.K you also need to sign the receipt which in that time you may as well have paid by chip and pin.

17. ameran

Posts: 344; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

I can't believe that LG could use the MST technology without paying Samsung for implementing such into their devices.

19. heikie

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 04, 2016

Mst is to NFC what faxing is to email. This is a silly excuse to deflect from the fact that the US payments infrastructure lags globally. It is mind boggling that this question was asked and even more that people responded favourably to MST as a feature. And by the way, Apple pay and Samsung pay use the same transmission technology. The big difference in performance for NFC is the quality of the antenna on your device and the case you have.

25. k4ever

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 08, 2014

Faxing and email have two totally different purposes. There are still businesses that use both. Maybe your intention was to compare faxing to scanning (then emailing the scanned document)?

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