This story was originally published and last updated .
NFC payments first came to Android way, way back in 2011 with a little disaster called the Nexus S 4G. This WiMAX 4G phone was the only device that did NFC payments at the time because carriers had their fingers in everything. Thankfully, things aren't as restrictive anymore. You can make contactless payments with any Android phone containing an NFC chip, but you might have more than one option. If you've got a Samsung phone, you can choose between Samsung's own payment platform or Google Pay. While both do offer the same basic tap-to-pay NFC functionality, there are some differences in their ease of use and in the apps themselves.
The title says it all: Without MST support, there's just no reason to use Samsung Pay. Over the past year or so, Samsung has effectively stripped Samsung Pay of its most compelling features, but its saving grace was MST — the technology that allowed Samsung phones to mimic a magnetic credit card strip, making them compatible with legacy payment terminals. But Samsung's latest smartphones, the Galaxy S21 series, debuted without MST this year — and all that's left of Samsung Pay is a bloated, ad infested app that compares poorly to Google Pay.
There was some confusion at today's announcement whether or not Samsung's Galaxy S21 series of phones support MST for contactless payments. The technology allowed earlier Samsung devices to use wireless payments even at terminals that weren't configured with NFC, emulating a magnetic card stripe for the reader. Unfortunately for fans of the feature, Samsung confirms to us that the Galaxy S21 won't have MST in the US, and this loss of MST will apply to future phones as well.
After the end of the year, Samsung Pay will no longer earn points toward Samsung's rewards program. While purchases at Samsung storefronts like the company's website and the Galaxy Store still earn points for Samsung Rewards, when the calendar flips over to 2021 at the end of the year, you won't be able to earn them anymore through Samsung Pay.
NFC payments are quick, easy, and less germy than swiping a card — but they aren't as widespread as one might think. Samsung uses magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology to make Samsung Pay available at almost any payment terminal around the world, even if the merchant doesn't support NFC platforms like Google Pay or Apple Pay. Now the people behind that tech are back with a new product that promises to simplify the payment process for everyone.
Samsung Pay is rolling out in Germany, but with one major twist: Rather than relying on bank-by-bank support, which can take ages, the company is simply partnering directly with Visa and a fintech company named Solarisbank AG to roll it out for everyone at once. In short, that means basically anyone in Germany can set up Samsung Pay without their bank having to support it first.
We are quite used to tech companies handling our money through apps like Google Pay and Samsung Pay. But what about having your phone maker issue you a credit card?It sounded a bit much when Apple came out with its own, but apparently the Apple Card was enticing enough for Samsung to follow suit and announce its own version a couple of months back. As the company promised back then, the Samsung Money-branded debit card is now landing in the US, offering users quite a few perks and usage benefits.
Following in Apple's footsteps, Samsung recently announced that it wants to introduce its own debit card. Today, the company has finally shared more information on that enterprise, calling it Samsung Money by SoFi as it's backed by said institution (which notably isn't a bank, as it states itself). The account-fee-free service is slated to launch "later this summer" in the US and will offer higher-than-average interest rates and rewards for saving money.