Mashable raised questions about the security of Samsung Pay.
Samsung copied Apple Pay but needed a differentiating factor.
Samsung Pay incorporates LoopPay technology to allow its phones to work at magstrip readers. These are the types of credit card readers seen at most U.S. retailers — but Apple Pay doesn’t work with them. Apple’s mobile payments require NFC (or near-field communication) for transactions, which is still an up-and-coming technology.
This is perceived as an advantage over Apple Pay when rolling out Samsung Pay.
Some have already proclaimed that this gives Samsung an advantage in mobile payments. The U.S. has been slow in adopting more-secure chip or EMV payment technology. The idea is that people will be more prone to adopt Samsung Pay because it is more widely accepted by merchants.
But the use of magnetic stripe readers is a questionable move.
Even though the magstrip (or magstripe) compatibility could lead to wider adoption of Samsung Pay by both retailers and smartphone users, the problem with magnetic-strip cards is that they are very insecure.
“The data on the magstripe is the most dangerous data out there,” Gartner’s Litan said.
Magstripe transactions directly transmit your credit card’s information — card number, expiration date, etc. — to the sale terminal.
Samsung claims that the transaction would be tokenised, but refused to explain how it works. It is presumably integrating with Loop Pay, which it has acquired.
According to CNET, LoopPay uses the actual credit card number during transactions.
Is it a good idea to use legacy technology? Moreover, the industry is moving to update to the more secure microchip-cards. That would have an impact on the roll out of Samsung Pay, especially when credit cards with magnetic stripes will be phased out in October 2015.