Samsung Pay Adds Gift Cards, More Bank Partners

Samsung-pay

Samsung Pay to support cards from new partners.

From the release:

Samsung is expanding the partnership ecosystem for Samsung Pay, announcing support in the coming months for cards issued by Chase, PNC Bank, TD Bank, SunTrust, Fifth Third Bank, First Hawaiian, Key Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Navy Federal Credit Union, Virginia Credit Union, Associated Bank, Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union and People’s United Bank. Starting next year, Samsung Pay will work with Discover.

They are also working with the Blackhawk Network to add gift cards for dining, shopping and groceries to the system. The news comes in conjunction with Money20/20, a fintech conference running this week.

Samsung Pay in Action

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I am a Samsung software beta tester and I have been testing Samsung Pay for the last few days and I love it.  This morning I was even thinking of downsizing my wallet since I won’t need to carry all of the cards anymore.

Setting up Samsung Pay with your credit card is easy. The beta is only working with Bank of America cards at this point, but once it launches, a wide selection of cards will be compatible. You open the app and scan in your credit cards. You can manually enter the information as well, and then you verify via text or email.

When it’s time to shell out your cash, you swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access your scanned cards. Swipe through to find the one you want, then press your finger to the fingerprint sensor. Then you have a few seconds to tap the phone to either the magnetic card-swipe or to an NFC accessory, and the transaction completes. The ability to use NFC or the magnetic card-swipe means it works at virtually all pay stations.

As soon as you pay, you receive confirmation and transaction details in your notifications shade. The Samsung Pay app also keeps a copy.

Samsung Pay beats Apple pay on several fronts including the ability to use NFC and magnetic card-swipe where Apple Pay is limited to NFC.  It will also eventually be available on a wide variety of devices and, according to several sources, uses better encryption, although Apple disputes this claim.

Using Samsung Pay offers several advantages over traditional cards because the retailer never actually receives or stores your card number, and, if you are using the biometric authentication (finger print scanner), you can be assured no one else is using your account.

When it launches later this month, you will need the latest generations of Samsung devices to use Samsung Pay.

600 million Samsung Galaxy devices at risk.

samsung

Security firm NowSecure claimed to have discovered a bug in SwiftKey’s software development kit (SDK), which has been pre-installed in more than 600 million Samsung phones. The software in which the bug resides can’t be deleted and is said to let hackers install secret malware. The SDK has access to most of the phones functions, which means an attacker can use the bug to secretly gain access to a device’s camera, microphone and GPS. Hackers would then be able to eavesdrop on calls and messages, steal private photos and change the way other apps behave.

Samsung told the Daily News that its working on a patch, which will be available soon.“Samsung takes emerging security threats very seriously. We are aware of the recent issue reported by several media outlets and are committed to providing the latest in mobile security.”

This flaw reportedly affect the  Samsung Galaxy S6, S5, S4 and S4 Mini, S3 all on major U.S. carries.

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