Samsung Galaxy S7 For Dummies (2016)
Part V. Productivity Applications
Chapter 15. Paying with Samsung Pay
IN THIS CHAPTER
Discovering why Samsung Pay is the coolest pay systems
Setting up your phone for payments
Managing your credit card options
Someday in the future, you will be able to leave your wallet at home and just use your smartphone for all the stuff that you carry with you today. We are not there yet, but Samsung has implemented some technology that moves us toward that day.
You may reasonably ask why not carrying your wallet is such a big deal. Fair enough. The two main reasons are that it is more convenient and more secure. Samsung Pay takes us a long way to this ultimate goal. The reality is you will need to continue to carry your wallet with credit cards and cash for now.
For now, you’ll need to decide for yourself whether the convenience that Samsung Pay does offer is worth the effort associated with setting it up. Samsung has gone to great lengths to make transactions more secure than simply using a credit card. Like so many of these things, the security is only as good as how the individual implements it.
With that awareness, some things about Samsung Pay are exceptionally cool. If you like to show off new technology to people, this is a good opportunity. In particular, you can one-up your smug friends who use Apple Pay with their iPhones. That capability alone is worth the price of admission for some of us.
How Mobile Payment Works
It helps to explain how mobile payments work to see how Samsung Pay helps you. The idea is that you walk up to the checkout stand at a retailer. You swipe your fingerprint on the Home button, place your phone near the card reader, and instantly your transaction is done. The receipt prints, and you take your purchase and go on your merry way. The charge shows up on your credit card.
You did not have to sign or enter a PIN. All the security that is needed for this transaction came from your fingerprint. All the authorizations were set up when you set up the credit card with Samsung Pay.
Really. That’s all there is.
It sounds so simple. The interesting thing is that this capability has been around in one form or another for almost 20 years. Back in 1997, Mobil gas stations implemented contactless payment with their Speedpass. Users on the system would tap their Speedpass fobs that they would keep on the key ring on the reader installed on the gas pump.
Their credit card would be charged for the gas they pumped. Initially, the tap was all that it took to pay for the gas. Later, users needed to add their ZIP code to enhance security. In spite of Mobil’s best efforts, the system had only moderate success. There are a range of reasons, but a major concern was that people were already hesitant to even carry yet another thing. It is the inclusion of some new technology within smartphones that makes it so much more convenient.
Visa and MasterCard also tried contactless systems with limited success. One of their major challenges is that not enough credit card readers support the contactless payment system. After years of trying, fewer than 10 percent of all credit card readers as recently as 2015 have this capability. Those readers that do support contactless payment have the logo shown in Figure 15-1.
FIGURE 15-1: The contactless payment logo.
The contactless payment approach got a significant boost when Apple introduced the Apple Pay system on the iPhone in 2014. Like some other technologies that have struggled to find widespread acceptance, the implementation by Apple produces enough momentum that overcomes any resistance to its widespread use.
Examples include the Apple Macintosh with its use of a mouse, the Apple iPod revolutionizing the acceptance of MP3 players, and the Apple iPad creating a revolutionizing a trend for tablets. All of these technologies were pioneered by other companies before Apple made them popular.
The Apple Pay system has seen significant success in an area where others have struggled. The retailers with the contactless credit card technology have seen a huge increase in its use from iPhone customers.
With Samsung Pay, however, Samsung has leapfrogged Apple. Samsung Pay works similarly to Apple Pay with contactless payment devices. It also works with the vast majority of standard credit card readers. Take that, Apple!
While 10 percent of credit card readers in retailers today support contactless payment, another 85 percent of credit card readers at retailers have readers that can read the magnetic stripe on the back of your credit card. Samsung Pay along with your Galaxy S7 have the electronics built in to work with the contactless system but also the electronics to convince the magnetic stripe readers that you have swiped your card!
The technology within your phone that works with the standard credit card readers is called Magnetic Secure Transmission, or MST. When you place your phone near the magnetic stripe reader, it sends a very short range signal to the magnetic stripe reader on your card that simulates the signals it gets when you physically swipe a magnetic stripe reader.
Your imagination could go wild and come up with ways that fiendish people could potentially steal this technology. One can never say never, but there are extensive procedures that are put in place to set up this capability to prevent it in most instances. The rest of this chapter walks you through those processes.
Probably the biggest drawback in using this technology these days is that too few retail clerks know that it will work. They freak out the first time they see it as they are probably familiar with contactless payment methods, know that they do not have it, and do not know about this slick solution. They will want to ask you more about it, which will end up taking more time than if you were paying by writing a check and having to provide two forms of identification!
Getting Started with Samsung Pay
The first step in the process is to make sure that you have Samsung Pay on your Galaxy S7. As cool as this app is, there are many options to this technology, and your carrier may have preferred to not have it preloaded. No problem. Chapter 8 explains how to download applications from the Play Store. The Samsung Pay logo is seen in Figure 15-2.
FIGURE 15-2: The Samsung Pay and the Android Pay logos.
It is easy to confuse Samsung Pay and Android Pay. These are two different applications. Android Pay is nice, but it does not have the Magnetic Secure Transmission capability that allows you to use mobile payments at many more retailers.
The app page description is shown in Figure 15-3. When you tap Install, you get the image on the right.
FIGURE 15-3: The Samsung Pay app Play Store images before and after installation.
The Samsung Pay app works a little different than most other apps. The first time you open Samsung Pay, you will be given information on how to use it and be asked to put in your credit card information (in a very convenient way, by the way) and asked all kinds of permissions and agreements.
Once you have given all this information, Samsung Pay waits patiently at the bottom of your home pages, ready to meet your payment needs with nothing more than a quick swipe from the bottom of the screen. Most people would simply not use this app if they had to go digging through their screens to find the app. This way, you do not have to search to find the app and wait for it to come up.
Figure 15-4 shows the Lock screen with the Samsung Pay launch button sitting at the bottom ready to appear with a quick flick.
FIGURE 15-4: The Samsung Pay quick launch button.
The launch button is also there on the Home screen, but is not visible when running other applications.
Setting Up Samsung Pay
When you open the app, you’re greeted with a series of pages before you get to the Home screen seen in Figure 15-4. These pages include marketing introductions (which you don’t need because you read this chapter), permissions and agreements (which you should give if you want to move forward), and some pages that verify that Samsung Pay can work on your phone.
The app wants to make sure that your phone has the right parts (your Galaxy S7 does, but that is not the case for every Android phone) and that you are in the United States or South Korea.
Being in these countries is important for this app because each country has its own set of laws for payment, and Samsung may not have all the arrangements in place if you are not in one of these countries. New countries will be added as quickly as possible.
Read the agreements. In all likelihood, they are the same kind of agreements that exist in the fine print in your existing credit card and every time you sign your name to a credit card charge slip that affirms you won’t pull any shenanigans. That said, I am your humble author, not your legal advisor, and you should feel comfortable with these agreements.
The next part of the initial setup process is to step through how you want to set up security. You have two security options when you are making a transaction: using your fingerprint or entering a PIN. Figure 15-5 shows the screen that gives you the option.
FIGURE 15-5: The Samsung Pay fingerprint selection page.
There are a few scenarios where using a Samsung Pay PIN rather than a fingerprint might make sense. In most cases, using your fingerprint is exceptionally convenient. Chapter 17 describes the process for using fingerprints as a security method. If you have already set up your phone to use your fingerprint, you see Figure 15-6.
FIGURE 15-6: The Samsung Pay credit card preparation page.
The next step is to enter your credit card information. When you tap the link that says Add Card, you will be taken to a screen that lets you take an image of your credit card. This is seen in Figure 15-7. The left image is when the screen first comes up and the right image is when you have the desired credit card in the viewfinder.
FIGURE 15-7: The Samsung Pay credit card image processing screen.
The app then interprets the information on the front of your credit card and populates as many screens as possible with your credit card information. It will ask you to fill out the form seen in Figure 15-8 if it can’t figure out the information on your card or the information is on the reverse side of the card.
FIGURE 15-8: The Populated credit card data fields.
Not every company that offers credit cards is signed up with Samsung Pay. You can check the Samsung website or tap the link in Figure 15-7 to check before you proceed. Otherwise, just go ahead and see whether things go through.
Tap Next, and Samsung Pay will seek to confirm things with your credit card company. This does not cost you anything. It just wants to make sure that when you do make a charge, everything will flow smoothly. One of the things the company will want to verify is that you are authorized to use that credit card. This means that either you need to be the primary cardholder or you need to coordinate with that person. The screen seen in Figure 15-9 comes up.
FIGURE 15-9: Credit card verification screen.
There are three credit card verification options. If you tap SMS, it will send a code to the primary cardholder’s mobile phone. You then enter the code in the next screen and you’re verified.
If you tap email, the bank offering the credit card will send an email to the primary cardholder’s email address. Again, you enter the code sent in the next screen.
The last option is that the primary cardholder calls the customer service line at the bank and makes the request to connect to Samsung Pay.
Once you are verified, it is possible that your phone will ask you to verify that you want to make Samsung Pay your primary app. This is seen in Figure 15-10. (Never let it be said that the folks at Google did not try hard to get you to use Android Pay.)
FIGURE 15-10: Tap and pay primary app verification screen.
You’re almost there. The next screen, seen in Figure 15-11, is for you to enter your signature if you’re using a credit card or your PIN if you’re using a debit card.
FIGURE 15-11: Signature screen.
Keep in mind that scanning your fingerprint and tapping your phone on a credit card has the same legal implications as actually signing a credit slip.
Once everything is ready, you get the verification screen seen in Figure 15-12.
FIGURE 15-12: Card added verification screen.
Using Samsung Pay
First, pick something to buy at a store. Have a clerk ring it up and tell him you will pay with a credit card. Swipe the screen upward. You see the screen seen in Figure 15-13.
FIGURE 15-13: Samsung Pay payment screen before reading fingerprint.
Run your finger over the Home button, and you see a screen similar to Figure 15-14.
FIGURE 15-14: Samsung Pay payment screen after reading fingerprint.
As seen in Figure 15-14, you should either hold your phone against where the credit card reader would read the magnetic stripe or where there is the contactless payment system logo if it is available.
The semicircle above your signature will start counting down, and your phone will vibrate to let you know that it is transmitting. You will hear a beep if it all goes through. If it fails for some reason, you can try again simply by rescanning your fingerprint.
This process works with the vast majority of credit card readers. This does not work well, however, with credit card readers where you insert your card into the machine and pull it out quickly. This type of reader is mostly used on gasoline pumps. Sorry.
Managing Samsung Pay
As long as you pay your credit card bills and keep your credit card account at the bank, this app is relatively self-sufficient. Still, you will need to access the app settings from time to time. You get there by tapping the Samsung Pay logo in the upper-left corner of the payment screen that you see in Figure 15-13. This will bring up the screen similar to what you see in Figure 15-15.
FIGURE 15-15: Samsung Pay settings security screen.
This is a security screen to keep anyone who doesn’t have your fingerprint (which is you and only you) away from the actual settings. Have it read your fingerprint, and you get to the page seen in Figure 15-16.
FIGURE 15-16: Samsung Pay settings security screen.
Now this looks like a more typical Home screen of an app. To add a new credit or debit card, tap the Add link and go through the process described in the section “Setting Up Samsung Pay,” earlier in this chapter.
Adding a second card is easy, and the images will stack up when above each other on this page. The quick launch link brings up whatever card is on the top. If you want to change to use a different credit card, you can flip through the options.
If you want to delete a credit card, all you have to do is tap on the card image. All the information associated with that card will appear in the screen. You also have the opportunity to delete it by tapping the menu option.
Enjoy your spending!