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Samsung Pay Goes Live In U.S.

The Samsung Pay mobile-payment service went live today in the U.S.

The service works with most existing and new payment terminals, including most magnetic-stripe, EMV and NFC terminals, so it works in more places than other mobile-payment services, the company said. The service works, however, only with Samsung’s Galaxy S6, S6 edge, Note5 and S6 edge+ devices operating on the AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular networks but not on the Verizon network.

Consumers who want to participate must have a MasterCard, Visa or American Express card issued by Bank of America, Citi, American Express or U.S. Bank. Samsung Pay also offers merchant credit cards through a relationship with Synchrony. Samsung promised to continue to expand the number of partners supporting Samsung Pay.

Samsung Pay can be accepted at more than 10 million locations in the U.S. compared to more than 1 million U.S. stores that accept Apple Pay, which works with NFC-based contactless payment terminals, Samsung has said.

Samsung boasts of winning a three-way matchup with Apple Pay and Google’s planned Android Pay because Samsung Pay uses both MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technology and NFC (Near Field Communication). MST technology works with existing magnetic card readers that are used for swiping cards.

To use Samsung Pay, consumers swipe up on their mobile-device screen, scan a fingerprint, and pay, the company said. For security, Samsung Pay uses digital tokenization, Samsung KNOX, and fingerprint authentication.  As retailers upgrade their terminals to EMV, Samsung Pay will use EMV security as well.