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A week with Samsung Pay, and why Android Pay might still be better

Florence Ion | Oct. 7, 2015
Despite a successful week of using Samsung Pay and Android Pay, I'm still a little wary about leaving my wallet at home.

Samsung Pay and Android Pay are both supposed to offer a log of transactions you’ve made throughout a card’s lifecycle within their respective applications. Unfortunately, neither of the apps offered that. It’s possible that this not not a feature my bank supports just yet. Regardless, my only indicator of a successful mobile transaction was a paper receipt.

This is just another example of why mobile payments are not the utopian way to pay for things just yet. There’s still so much work that needs to be done before they’re as commonplace as hailing a ride with an app, for instance, or paying a friend back for dinner with an app like Venmo.

Samsung still needs to educate retailers and small shops on what MST actually is before it goes full-fledged with its mobile payments advertising campaign. Also, while Android Pay can store loyalty cards and gift cards—and Samsung Pay will, eventually—it won’t store transit payment cards, like the Bay Area’s Clipper card. Some Mom and Pop shops, like a costume shop in my small town, still do credit card imprints, too, so unless you live near a bigger city, you might have a tough time finding a store that even takes mobile payments. 

Over the coming year, chip-and-pin credit cards will become the norm, and stores will update to EMV-enabled card readers to support them. Most of these credit card terminals will also support NFC. By the time these machines become more mainstream, store clerks won’t be so freaked out about people paying with their phones, and customers and retailers alike will become less frustrated about this new technology infiltrating our lives. But for now, you’ll have to keep taking your wallet along with you as backup.


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