The Galaxy S6 is expected to be jam-packed with new hardware and software features to help the struggling Samsung Electronics Co. win back customers it lost in 2014. One feature that is looking increasingly more likely is a new NFC-based payment system, similar to the Apple Pay system introduced by the Cupertino company in September.
Recently, several publications have uncovered details about the system, which the Korean manufacturer may dub “Samsung Pay.” The system is expected to work with up to 90 percent of current NFC and magnetic strip payment terminals, according to BGR. Samsung may work with Visa to have cards issued by the company automatically be compatible with Samsung Pay, and with McAfee to ensure the system is protected from spyware, spam, and viruses, SamMobile reported Wednesday.
Samsung Pay falls in step with rumors that Samsung plans to update the fingerprint sensor on Galaxy S6 from a swipe-based sensor to a touch-based one similar to that on the iPhone 6 and other newer Apple smartphones. iPhone users must use the Touch ID sensor on their handsets to authorize the use of Apple Pay, which works without having to unlock the phone. Samsung’s current swipe-based Finger Sensor requires users to unlock the phone before proceeding with any authorization functions.
Samsung may also be in discussions with the payments startup LoopPay to use its technology on Samsung Pay, Re/code reported in December. The technology allows users to transmit credit or debit card information to a payment terminal without swiping the card. The technology is still similar to a card swipe. Because of this, it is compatible with payment equipment retail stores already have, whereas other NFC payment systems like Apple Pay and Google Wallet require special compatible hardware.
Samsung Pay may become available sometime in 2015. Samsung is expected to announce the system as a feature of the Galaxy S6 smartphone, which may be unveiled at World Mobile Congress in Barcelona in March.