Money20/20 Europe: Biometrics Are a Pillar of Samsung Pay

Money20/20 Europe: Biometrics Are a Pillar of Samsung PayToday at Money20/20 Europe mobile wallets were the talk of Copenhagen and Samsung was one of the prime movers in this trend. Elle Kim, Vice President, Samsung Pay, took the stage to give the audience an update on Samsung’s major mPayments platform. Here’s a rundown of what we learned:

  1. Samsung Sees Biometrics as a Pillar of Samsung Pay, is Working on Advancements

Money20/20 Europe: Biometrics Are a Pillar of Samsung PayThe major consumer use case for mobile biometrics is payments. This has been true for years now. What has not been clear, however, is how the OEMs like Samsung and Apple see biometrics in terms of the mCommerce value proposition. With mobile wallets, the name of the game is most often convenience, with security regularly going unmentioned in any announcements about the services.

Today marked a change in that discussion, with Kim highlighting Samsung Pay’s biometric security as one of the mPayment solution’s foundations, along with KNOX and tokenization.

“Right now we use fingerprint authentication—biometrics,” said Kim. “As we speak, engineers at Samsung are developing the next generation of biometric sensors so that our phones and Samsung Pay can be even more secure.”

  1. The Big Advantage With Samsung Pay is its MST Technology

In the war for your wallet, Samsung has a secret weapon: MST (magnetic secure transaction) technology. While most other mCommerce solutions rely solely on NFC tech to communicate with card readers, limiting their use to only new terminals that accept contactless payments, Samsung Pay uses MST to trick old-style readers into thinking it’s a magstripe card. It’s a massive advantage in terms of merchant acceptance, especially in regions where contactless payments aren’t yet popular.

To help illustrate the convenience, Kim played a popular Samsung Pay TV spot featuring comedian Hannibal Buress buying a sandwich with his Galaxy smartphone:

  1. Global Expansion is Happening

Money20/20 Europe: Biometrics Are a Pillar of Samsung PaySamsung Pay launched in China just last week, but that’s not where its expansion ends. According to Kim, global expansion of the platform is inevitable, and we can expect to see it spreading to seven new countries this year: Canada, Australia, Singapore, Spain, Brazil, and the UK.

In terms of a specific timeline, Kim was elusive, but she did offer a hopeful hint to Brazilian Samsung customers and sports tourists:

“Samsung is a proud sponsor of the Olympic Games. [Brazil] is where the Olympics will be this year. The world will be watching Brazil and we would love Samsung Pay to be a part of that.”

  1. Samsung Pay Can Replace ATM Access Cards

Money20/20 Europe: Biometrics Are a Pillar of Samsung PayThe goal with all mobile wallets is to replace the leather pouch you carry around containing all your money and cards. A new feature on Samsung Pay described by Kim this afternoon makes a good case to just ditch your wallet in favor of a Galaxy smartphone, at least if you live in Korea. In partnership with a Korea’s UTI Bank (aka Axis Bank), Samsung Pay has been able to replace ATM access cards for cash withdrawals.

“You add your bank account and you verify with your actual bank PIN, you put in the amount you want to withdraw, you take the phone and you actually tap it on the NFC reader on the ATM. It’s highly secure. And once that’s done, magically, your money appears.”

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Stay posted to FindBiometrics and our sister site Mobile ID World as we continue to bring you the latest news straight from Money20/20 in Copenhagen.

April 5, 2016 – by Pater B. Counter