How to Use Samsung Pay: A Complete Guide
Samsung Pay is a mobile payments service that allows you to use your phone basically as you would your debit card or cash (yay for advancements in digital technology). You can also make purchases with Samsung Pay in stores and at online retailers, making it a safe and secure way to pay for things without carrying around your actual card. What more could you ask for in a digital wallet?
However, there seem to be a lot of questions floating around online regarding Samsung Pay. Do you have to have a Samsung phone to use the app? Do you have to bank with a certain bank to use Samsung Pay? What about the security of the app? And, how does it even work?
No worries. We’ve reviewed the app for you in order to answer all of your burning questions. If you’re not familiar with digital wallet apps, we suggest that you first read our review of The Best Digital Wallet Apps to gain a basic understanding of how these financial apps work. Then, come back here and learn more about Samsung Pay.
Is Samsung Pay Only Compatible with Samsung Phones?
Unfortunately for you Apple fans, yes, Samsung Pay is only compatible with Samsung phones. Currently (at the time of this writing), the app is compatible with Samsung Galaxy phones newer than the Galaxy Note 5, Gear Watch and Gear Watch Active, Gear S2 and S3.
It’s really a shame, too, because in our review of Samsung Pay vs. Google Pay vs. Apple Pay, Samsung Pay beat out the other two digital wallet options in terms of payment technology. This is due to the fact that Samsung Pay uses both NFC and magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology whereas Google Pay and Apple Pay only use NFC.
Which Banks Are Compatible with Samsung Pay?
Fortunately, Samsung Pay works with nearly every major US bank currently. This includes banks such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, PNC, US Bank, American Express, Citi and more. The app also works with numerous credit unions.
Here is a full list of all of the banks that currently work with Samsung Pay.
However, it’s also important to note that Samsung Pay offers you the ability to connect gift cards and membership cards (otherwise known as loyalty cards). If you scroll down on the page linked above, you’ll eventually come upon the list of participating gift card merchants, which includes popular stores such as Groupon, Nike, Chipotle, Best Buy, Southwest Airlines, and many, many more.
How to Set Up Samsung Pay
First, you’ll obviously need to download the Samsung Pay app. If you’re not sure whether or not your Samsung phone is compatible, check out this list here first.
Now, you’ll need to add a credit, debit, or gift card as a form of payment. To do this, open the app and tap the Menu button in the top left corner. You should see an option that says Cards. Click on that and then click on Add Card. Choose the Add Credit/Debit Card option if you’re trying to add a, well, credit or debit card!
Samsung will pull up step-by-step instructions to let you know how to register your card, which might require an authorization from your bank.
How to Make a Payment with Samsung Pay
Now that you’ve got your cards connected, it’s time to start making easy payments using the digital wallet app! To do this, simply swipe up on your phone’s home or lock screen. Your default card will show up on the screen, but you can swipe left or right to view other cards that you’ve connected, too.
Choose the card you’d like to use and you’ll be prompted to initiate the payment. To do this, you need to tap the iris scanner button or the PIN button. If you’ve set up the fingerprint scanner as an option, you can also put your finger on the scanner and you’ll initiate the transfer. Basically, regardless of the method you choose, the idea is that you are confirming your identity to be able to access your card.
Now, you’ll simply touch the back of your phone to the payment terminal. You have 30 seconds from the time you enter your passcode or use the iris or fingerprint scanner, so be mindful of that. Once you do, the payment terminal should accept your payment! However, do note that some machines require you to enter your PIN again for safety.
The app will keep track of your transactions, which are also viewable straight from your bank account or credit card account.
Cool Samsung Pay Features
Aside from simply learning how to use Samsung Pay in order to make quick, effortless payments on the go, there are quite a few other cool features that the app offers its users. For starters, they’ve just enabled a feature that allows you to easily store your COVID-19 vaccination card within the app. As more countries and cities move to making this a requirement to enter public spaces, this is super helpful.
As well, Samsung offers something called Cash Back Awards. The brand has partnered with top merchants such as Groupon, GrubHub, Uber Eats, and Sam’s Club to offer great cash back rewards up to 15%. Simply pay with the Samsung Pay app and earn the rewards.
Other Alternatives to Samsung Pay
For those without a Samsung phone, you’ll unfortunately have to use another digital wallet app for now. Apple Pay and Google Pay are two top options if you are looking for a convenient way to store multiple cards in one place. However, if you’re simply looking for a great way to earn rewards while you spend, check out the Cheese Debit Card.
With the card, you’re able to apply with just an established US address, passport, and valid visa. That’s not where the perks stop, though. The Cheese Debit Card acts somewhat like a credit card in terms of the rewards that you’re able to access. That includes:
- Up to 10% cash back at over 10,000 stores (vs. Samsung Pay’s Cash Back Awards offers with less than 10 stores)
- Up to a 3% deposit bonus
- No fees!
Seriously, just check out all of the perks:
❌ No Monthly Fee 🧀️ $5 cash bonus
❌ No ATM Fee 🧀️ Up to 10% cashback with every purchase/transaction
❌ No Overdraft Fee 🧀️ Potential Double Cheese Cashback
❌ No Insufficient Fund Fee 🧀️ Up to 3% Saving Bonus
❌ No Minimum Balance Requirement 🧀️ Early Paycheck