Samsung Pay is Samsung’s option for contactless payments using nothing more than your cell phone. In the good old days of 2020, all of Samsung’s flagship smartphones included the ability to use Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) with Samsung Pay.
If you look at the back of your credit or debit card, you’ll notice the black strip at the top. This is a magnetic strip is swiped through the machine and registers the payment as complete. MST emulated the magnetic strip, removing the need to swipe a card at a terminal.
However, with the Galaxy S21 lineup, MST has been removed entirely from all three models. Samsung believes that NFC has matured to a point where it has been adopted in most places, removing the need for MST. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case in all areas, as those India and rural America still can’t use NFC for payments.
Set up Samsung Pay on Galaxy S21
That doesn’t mean that Samsung Pay has been rendered completely useless with the Galaxy S21. This just means that instead of being able to use Samsung Pay anywhere, you’ll only be able to use it in locations that support NFC payments. Chances are, if you see logos for Apple Pay or Google Pay, then Samsung Pay will work just fine.
If this is your first time setting up Samsung Pay, it’s a pretty easy and straightforward process. But there are a few pre-requisites that need to be met before proceeding. This is everything you’ll need to get started:
- A compatible Samsung phone or watch (the Galaxy S21 is compatible).
- Samsung Account.
- Supported credit, debit, or gift card from a participating bank or vendor.
- Registered fingerprint or Samsung Pay PIN.
- Located in the country of the participating bank for verification purposes.
The following method works for any devices in the Galaxy S21 lineup. Here’s how you can set up Samsung Pay on the Galaxy S21:
- Open the Samsung Pay app on your Galaxy S21.
- Tap Get Started.
- Enter a new PIN (different from your Lock Screen PIN).
- Enter the PIN again to confirm.
- Follow the onscreen prompts to add your payment cards.
- Tap Samsung Pay Home if you want to skip adding any cards.
While many banks and credit unions have added support for Samsung Pay, additional verification may be needed. For example, with M&T Bank here in Maryland, a quick phone call needs to be placed after adding the card to Samsung Pay. After the call is completed for verification, then the debit and credit cards work just as advertised.
How to use Samsung Pay
Now that you have set up Samsung Pay, it’s time to actually start using it. Here’s how you can use Samsung Pay on the Galaxy S21.
- Swipe up from the bottom of your home screen or lock screen.
- Select the debit or credit card you wish to use.
- If you want to use a different card that has been added to Samsung Pay, swipe left or right and select it.
- Tap the PIN button at the bottom of the screen below your card.
- If you have registered your fingerprint scanner, tap the sensor with your finger.
- Place the back of the phone near the terminal or card machine. You will have 30 seconds to tap the terminal or you will have to repeat the above steps to activate Samsung Pay.
- Enter your card’s PIN if prompted on the payment terminal.
It’s that simple! Now you can just use your smartphone to make payments while you’re at the store, instead of reaching for your wallet all of the time.
How To Add a Card To Samsung Pay
Thankfully, Samsung Pay is compatible with more than just one credit or debit card. In fact, you can store up to 10 payment cards with Samsung Pay, giving you a bit of variety while you’re out and about. But if you need to add more cards, here’s how you can do so:
- Open the Samsung Pay app on your Galaxy S21.
- Tap the Menu button in the top left corner.
- Tap Cards.
- Select Add Card from the menu.
- Tap Add credit/debit card.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to finish adding the card.
Are There Any Limitations?
Outside of lacking support for MST with the Galaxy S21 lineup, there really aren’t too many other limitations. Samsung Pay can be used with up to 10 payment cards at a time. However, it can also be used to store an unlimited number of gift cards, along with any rewards cards for stores.
Samsung and PayPal have even partnered to make it so you can use your PayPal account with Samsung Pay. This works in the stores, along with making purchases right from your Galaxy S21.
Let us know what you think about Samsung Pay, and the company’s decision to move away from MST payments. Are you going to stick with using something like Google Pay? Or are you going to take advantage of the various rewards and Cash Back programs offered by Samsung? Sound off in the comments below.