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Well, it supported the magnetic stripe technology (MST), in addition to the NFC chip that everyone else used. That meant that it was compatible with the legacy MST standard that most POS terminals in the US supported at the time.
You just placed your phone close to the place where cards are swiped, and it sent a magnetic signal that mimics a regular credit or debit card, making it possible to pay using your phone in places where Apple and Android Pay users can't.
Well, the new S21 series only supports NFC, and, when asked why it did away with the MST technology in its new phones, Samsung said that it is now becoming obsolete:
Too bad, as it was a convenient feature not without its hiccups, like having to explain to the cashier that it will actually work like a card even though it didn't register the first one or two times. In any case, it seems that there is finally a critical mass of NFC-enabled terminals everywhere, so that we can all move on in mobile payments technology.