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Everything you need to know about Samsung Pay

Mobile payments have come a long way since Apple made a huge push into the space with Apple Pay in 2014. Google introduced Android Pay in 2015, and Samsung has joined the fray with its own mobile payment system called Samsung Pay. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

Just weeks after adding support for PayPal, Samsung Pay is adding another major feature: Cash Back.

With Cash Back, Samsung has partnered with major retailers to create exclusive offers for Samsung Pay users. Here’s how it works: Simply tap on the Cash Back feature and look through the selection of offers available. If you take advantage of one of the exclusive offers, you’ll instantly get cash back in your Samsung Pay wallet.

To start, Samsung is partnering with a small group of retailers including Walmart, Etsy, Warby Parker, and Instacart. We’d expect to see the number of retailers participating in the Cash Back program to increase as more Samsung users take advantage of the exclusive offers in Samsung Pay.

Since Samsung Pay works in different countries, the company has had to work with banks and credit card providers to ensure that the service is accessible to its users. Here’s a breakdown of the banks and card issuers that are on board for each country.

Samsung Pay in the U.S. 

Samsung Pay works on most major U.S. credit cards, and the company is always adding more to the mix. Samsung added PayPal to its list of growing partners in July 2017, but only officially turned on the feature in April 2018.

PayPal had been previously introduced as a payment option in Apple’s iTunes and App Stores, but Samsung’s integration, like Android Pay’s, goes a step further and allows users access to a virtual PayPal card to make transactions at brick-and-mortar retailers around the country.

Through Samsung Pay, users will be able to pull from their PayPal balance just as they can with a standard debit card. However, Samsung Pay’s proprietary magnetic secure transactions (MST) technology means you’ll even be able to use the funds stored in your Wallet at legacy payment terminals that lack NFC functionality.

Discover cards are also available on the platform. Discover had been listed as a major partner back in August 2015 when Samsung Pay was announced, and had pledged support in 2016, though deployment of the service took a little longer than that to go live.

With Discover in the fold, Samsung Pay now cooperates with all major American credit card networks for contactless transactions. With Samsung Pay’s number of supported banks and credit unions at an enormous 70, you should be able to find support no matter who you’re with. The Korean giant said its mobile payment service hit 5 million registered users and processed around $500 million in its first six months of existence.

Samsung Pay is secured with Samsung’s own Knox security software, which is widely regarded as one of the best security systems for mobile devices, as well as ARM TrustZone. Just like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay doesn’t store personal account numbers on the user’s device, and uses “tokenization” to protect your credit card information whenever you make a purchase. If you should lose your phone, you can lock and disable the device remotely to turn off access to Samsung Pay in Samsung’s Find My Mobile feature.

Which countries support Samsung Pay?

Samsung Pay is currently available in the U.S. on all major carriers’ networks, as well as in countries like Spain, the U.K., and China. Samsung is always adding more and more countries to its support list, with the most recent additions being Italy and Mexico. If you’re not sure whether Samsung Pay works in your country, the best way to find out is to visit Samsung’s main Pay website and be redirected to your country’s page.  Looking for a prepaid SIM to use for your Samsung Pay?  A list of prepaid SIMS can be found here.

Driving these international launches forward is Samsung’s extended partnership with MasterCard overseas, helping Samsung Pay break into Europe, and for people to activate debit, credit, and reloadable prepaid cards. It also supports Visa and American Express, along with other major payment networks. The full list can be found here. Additionally, Samsung has signed a partnership with point of sale equipment company Verifone, helping adoption in the U.S. and internationally.

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