When contactless payments first began, the idea of using your phone to make a payment seemed truly futuristic. Fast forward just twenty years, and the vast majority of smartphone users now have the ability to ditch their wallets and make a payment using their mobile devices.
While iPhone users have Apple Pay, Samsung users have the option of Google Pay or Samsung’s own wallet solution, Samsung Pay.
What Do You Need to Get Started With Samsung Pay?
As its name suggests, Samsung Pay is a digital wallet app that has been designed to work only with select Samsung devices. It’s not available on iOS, and while there are workarounds to run it on other Android devices, Google Pay tends to have these covered.
What Phones Support Samsung Pay?
Samsung Pay is available in modern Samsung phones that support NFC. These include:
- Galaxy S devices, from the S6 range and above
- Galaxy Note 8 and above
- Galaxy Fold and Z Flip devices
- Galaxy A50 and A70, and above
- and some older devices in the A and J ranges
Samsung Pay is also supported on these Gear devices:
- Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2
- Samsung Galaxy Watch Active
- Galaxy Watch
- Galaxy Watch 4G
- Gear S3 Classic
- Gear S3 Frontier
- Gear Sport
What Card Providers are Supported on Samsung Pay?
Besides a supporting Samsung smartphone, you also need a supported card provider to get started with Samsung Pay.
In the US, Samsung has partnered with American Express, Visa, and Mastercard, and a large number of major banks including Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, and Capital One, along with many smaller banks and credit unions.
In the UK, some large banks including Monzo and Barclays are missing from the supported list. While Samsung assures its users that it is working to support more card providers on Samsung Pay, it seems to be placing a lot of emphasis on Samsung Pay+, which uses Curve’s engine to bring all Mastercard, Visa, Debit and Credit cards together under one app.
See the complete list of supported banks and cards in the US, and in the UK.
If you aren't in the US or UK, check the Support pages on samsung.com to find out which banks are supported where you are.
How to Set Up Samsung Pay
So long as you bank with one of the supported card providers, setting up Samsung Pay on your device is relatively pain-free. You can add up to 10 payment cards to your Samsung Pay app and can also set a default transport card and add up to 300 loyalty cards.
If you’re using Samsung Pay in the US, there’s also the option to add and use supported gift cards.
How to Add a Card to Samsung Pay
For security purposes, Samsung has blocked users from taking screenshots of the card input screen, but we’ll try to walk you through the process as best we can.
- Open the Samsung Pay app on your smartphone.
- Head to + Payment cards.
- From here, you’ll have the option to scan your payment card, add it using NFC (if it's contactless), or add the card details manually. For security purposes, Samsung has prevented us from taking a screenshot of this.
- Finally, you’ll be prompted to input the billing address associated with your chosen payment card.
Once you’ve added a payment card to your Samsung Pay app, you’ll notice that the + Payment Cards button has changed to 01 Payment Cards. To view your payment card or add an additional card, simply tap 01 Payment Cards and then tap Add in the top right-hand corner.
How to Set a Default Transport Card to Samsung Pay
In some countries you can use Samsung Pay on public transport systems. In order to set a default transport card to your Samsung Pay app, you need to have added at least one payment card to your wallet.
- To set your default transport card, either select Transport card from the side menu or scroll down on your Samsung Pay app home screen until you see the section titled Transport card.
- From here, tap Set up transport card.
- If you have more than one card added to your wallet, you will need to select the card you wish to use.
- Next, you’ll be prompted to verify your chosen payment method by SMS or via email.
Setting up a transport card will enable you to pay for transport using any transport card reader even while your phone screen is off. If you don’t want to use the Transport Card feature, then you can always disable it by heading to the Set up transport card screen and then toggling off Use transport card.
How to Add a Loyalty Card to Samsung Pay
If, like me, you have a dozen loyalty cards bulging out of your wallet, then adding them to Samsung Pay can lighten your load. Samsung Pay allows users to add up to 300 loyalty cards to the app, making it easier to collect loyalty points and redeem them without carrying the physical card.
- Tap + Loyalty cards from the Samsung Pay home screen or head to Loyalty cards from the side menu.
- You’ll then see the option to Import loyalty cards or to Add loyalty cards to your Samsung Pay account.
- If you haven’t used a Wallet app before, then you’ll need to select Add loyalty cards.
- Next, select the loyalty card you want to add from the list or search for it. There’s also the option to add a loyalty card that isn’t on the list.
- If your loyalty card has a barcode, you’ll then be prompted to scan it or to enter your loyalty card details manually.
How to Make a Payment Using Samsung Pay
To use Samsung Pay, open the app either by selecting it from your app page or by swiping up from the bottom of your Home or Lock screen. From here, select the card you wish to pay with and then use your fingerprint or Samsung Pay pin to verify your identity.
Hold your device to the card reader and your payment will complete using Near Field Communication (NFC). Once payment is complete you’ll receive a notification.
How to Use Samsung Pay as a Transport Card
Using your default Samsung Pay transport card is a little different because you do not need to open the app or authenticate the payment. To use your default transport card, simply hold your phone to the card reader.
Your phone will need to be switched on but the screen does not need to be active.
How to Use Loyalty Cards With Samsung Pay
To use a loyalty card, open the Samsung Pay app and then head to the Pay tab. Tap Loyalty cards and select the loyalty card you wish to use. Its barcode will appear on your screen for you to scan.
Alternatively, select Loyalty cards from the app menu, select the loyalty card you want to use and then select Tap to use card at the bottom of your screen.
The redemption of points of credits on your loyalty card can be done on the merchant’s system after you have scanned your loyalty card. The process is designed to be the same as if you have swiped your physical loyalty card.
Is Samsung Pay Secure?
While the idea of using your phone as a wallet can be daunting, there are a number of security measures in place to keep your transactions secure. Samsung Pay uses Tokenization and Samsung KNOX to secure your payment information and will also require your fingerprint or a 4-digit PIN to authorize in-store purchases.
What Happens if You Lose Your Phone?
If your phone is lost or stolen, your cards and payment information will remain secure. Your card details remain hidden while your phone is locked, and users will not be able to authenticate in-store purchases without your fingerprint or Samsung Pay pin. If you have added a travel card to your account, then this can be used without unlocking your phone.
You can use Samsung’s Find My Mobile service to find your device and to disable your payment cards remotely.
Deciding on a Digital Wallet
While iPhone users are restricted to Apple Pay, Samsung users have the option to use Google Pay or Samsung Pay on their device.
While Samsung Pay may seem like an obvious choice for Samsung users, Google Pay does provide one major additional feature; it allows you to make online payments as well as payments in-store. If you’ve never tried a digital wallet before, then have a look at both Samsung Pay and Google Pay before making your decision.