Samsung Pay lands in Spain without its best feature

Samsung Pay lands in Spain without its best feature
Having launched in Samsung's home market of South Korea and the US in 2015 and then to China this past March, Samsung Pay is now open for business in Spain. 

Spain is the first country in Europe to get Samsung’s booming mobile payment platform, which is a notable milestone for Samsung. Unfortunately, however, Samsung Pay will launch in Spain without what many consider as its single best feature.

While notable, Samsung Pay’s expansion to Spain is not unexpected; back in early January 2016, Samsung announced that its mobile payment platform will make its way to the UK, Spain, and Australia at some point in the future. 

CaixaBank and ImaginBank are the only two launch-day Samsung Pay bank partners in the country, but Samsung says that support for cards from two other Spanish banks – Abanca and Banco Sabadell - is on its way. 

As far as device compatibility is supported, Samsung Pay is usable in Spain on the Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 edge, Galaxy S6, S6 edge, and S6 edge+. The mid-range Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) is likely to gain Samsung Pay compatibility in the upcoming weeks.

Unfortunately, it looks like the most notable Samsung Pay feature will not be available in Spain. As was previously rumored for the UK launch of Samsung Pay, the platform will come without support for conventional magnetic POS. What this means is that Samsung Pay will only be supported at NFC-compatible payment terminals.

In the US, the main advantage that Samsung Pay holds over competitors such as Apple Pay or Android Pay is that the platform supports traditional magnetic stripe payment terminals, a feature that makes Samsung Pay compatible with nearly all payment terminals used by US retailers. At this point, it's unclear why Samsung has stripped the feature away in Spain, although the answer probably has something to do with EU or local regulations, technical setbacks, or the preferences of local partners. 

source: Samsung

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20 Comments

1. titoandres

Posts: 17; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

It makes sense in Spain since the infrastructure is more than ready for NFC payments. I haven't used a magnetic band in 3 years at least. I guess is only an advantage in countries with an old infrastructure. This does not only applies to Spain, since Europe in general is also using this kind of payments. I think it's more sensible to title this as "Samsung Pay lands in Spain without US best feature"

10. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Most magnetic band reader have been turned off in the uk and I be thinking most of the eu, so it's never going to work in the Euro even if it's on the hardware

2. steve.burczymucha

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 02, 2016

Guys, answer is simple, no one in EU uses magnetic payments, we have NFC/RFID terminals everywhere. This is legacy technology.

3. Cicero

Posts: 1134; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

The NFC payment infrastructure is widely spread through Europe. Using magnetic stripe is obsolete here and somehow redundant. So coming here without this "facility" means nothing. The best thing is they are coming.

4. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Same in UK - quite literally no-one uses the magnetic strips and haven't for years. We've had chip & pin and now NFC. That's why I never understood all the bragging from the Samsung crowd about an out-of-date feature but I guess the US is into it...

5. TimidUser unregistered

In the behind the times US, having MST provides Samsung Pay a considerable advantage.

11. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

In the uk, we have had chip and pin for way over 10 year, more like 15 years and now nfc for many years

13. tedkord

Posts: 17365; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

In the US, we are just now getting the chip, and they're not even using a PIN. How is that more secure than swiping? Plus, it takes two to three times as long to process, but I'm hoping that will speed up with time.

19. kevv2288

Posts: 295; Member since: Jul 30, 2015

Its more secure because the chip uses a unique encrypted token when you use it. So anyone that hacks into a stores terninal could not get your account number, if you swipe your card however they could steal your account number. Remember when target got hacked,had the us had chip cards back then all those credit card numbers wouldn't have been stolen

16. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Assuming your bank or card supports it. Oh wait..

17. tedkord

Posts: 17365; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

My bank does, thanks for your concern. And, I can use it at way more than 1 in 10 places.

6. DnB925Art

Posts: 1168; Member since: May 23, 2013

True but the reality is, that out-of-date feature is still in use in the USA and will probably be for quite some time. As long as retailers are slow to adapt chip/nfc readers, swipe technology will continue to be used. I still have a few credit cards that don't have a chip on it (Citibank I'm looking at you!). So for us Samsung users in the USA, having the ability to use both NFC and MST is a huge deal as seeing maybe not even 10-20% of all retailers I shop at can accept chip or NFC payments.

8. M.O.A.B

Posts: 319; Member since: Feb 13, 2015

in my country paying with MST is still the most used way to pay (EMV is emerging here by the way) also samsung pay supports both MST and EMV (chip) cards .. that along with nfc payment support makes it the most advanced phone payment system till now ..

7. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

You are WRONG about not needing the MST feature. Although we don't use magnetic straps anymore in the uk we actually use chip and pin (hardly any terminals have nfc). All terminals have the magnetic strip so it makes it so you can use your phone at basically all terminals. Without this feature samsung pay will only be as useful as Apple pay and android pay in the uk. Don't believe me then go try pay with your nfc android/apple phone where you want...... you'll be severely limited. With MST there will be NO limits

12. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

I think you find you wrong, nfc is offer by many shops and even in my crap club I go in, you also find that magnetic strips are turned off in most shops, they also will not be setup to auth the payments like they do in the USA, as they not need used in a big way for over 10 years, also nfc will be all over by the end of the year

14. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

"hardly any terminals have NFC"? Are you from the UK?? Every supermarket, fast food outlet and high-street chain I've been to has NFC. Maybe you're from the Outer Hebrides or something? The only time I've ever seen anyone try to use MST that I can remember is when my boss was over from the states and we were in Tesco's, it didn't work and he had to pay cash.

9. M.O.A.B

Posts: 319; Member since: Feb 13, 2015

reading this article made me frustrated,, that mean i'll wait for ages for this service to be fully functioning in middle east :(

15. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Isn't it true that is Europe, most terminals use NFC? Because I recall a guy here who I think lives in the UK say, the support of magstrip is useless in the UK/Europe because they are pretty much all NFC.

18. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

I wouldn't necessarily say "most" for sure but NFC is VERY common in the UK now, all major outlets I can think of have it. Everywhere uses chip and pin. I never see anyone use Magstrip any more so no idea if it's still accepted as a normal form of payment.

20. obedchuni

Posts: 335; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

so why to launch the half baked product at Spain, that also without its best features.....

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