Recently, I attempted to survive a weekend out in Johannesburg with only my smartphone to make payments.
Samsung Pay proved to be the most effective solution for my mobile payments, as it was compatible with NFC-ready payment machines and can use Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) to mimic a normal card swipe.
The platform is still in its early-access phase in South Africa, but I have found myself using it wherever I can thanks to its easy interface and accessibility.
Once installed, Samsung Pay integrates seamlessly into the lock screen of my Samsung Galaxy S9 and is accessible by simply swiping up from the bottom of the display.
For this reason, I’ve found myself reaching for my smartphone more than my wallet of late, even for payment devices where NFC is not supported.
In fact, Samsung Pay has not failed me once in my round of tests where I used it to pay via NFC and MST multiple times at many locations.
While it is still in early access, the app – connected to my Standard Bank cheque card – has been accepted at petrol stations, restaurants, bars, and more.
Another reason I prefer paying using Samsung Pay on my smartphone is the added layer of security compared to traditional contactless payment methods.
With a standard NFC payment using my physical card, no authentication is required when paying for amounts below a certain threshold.
Using Samsung Pay, however, my biometrics are required for every transaction – and it takes less than a second to authenticate.
I have even started to leave my wallet at home for quick trips out during the day, as the app is proving increasingly reliable across a variety of payment terminals.