Samsung Pay arrives in Europe with Spain debut

Thomas Wellburn
June 3, 2016

Samsung’s mobile payment service has finally landed in Europe, just weeks after Android Pay officially launched in the UK.

The service will debut in the Spanish market, despite rumours that it would launch in the UK first much like the competition. Samsung has partnered with banks CaixaBank and imaginBank for the service, and will also be available for customers of Abanca and Banco Sabadell soon.

The service works much in the same way as competitors by registering a card and then making wireless payments using your mobile device. One area where Samsung Pay appears to be dropping the ball is with support for Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST), which mimics the magnetic strip of a physical payment card. This allows companies to use existing terminals rather than update to those which support near-field communication (NFC), which is used by competitors such as Apple Pay and Android Pay.

MST was one of the unique selling points surrounding Samsung Pay, but it was never going to make a splash in Europe. Magnetic Strip systems have mostly been filtered out in favour of contactless chip and pin machines, meaning this new feature is only really helpful in the US market where MST is still commonplace. CaixaBank themselves decided back in January not to support it, saying that contactless systems were far more popular in Spain and Europe.

The service is available from today in Spain, with more markets set to follow soon. There’s no word on when the rollout will take place, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled for more information.

For more news, visit What Mobile’s dedicated news page

About the Author

Share this article