Samsung is following Apple’s lead by testing the ground for a Canadian launch of its mobile payments service, Samsung Pay. While it is not officially available yet, Samsung has decided to give “early access” to some Canadian users who own a Samsung Galaxy S6 or later device and are CIBC customers (via MobileSyrup).
The early access, which can be considered a public trial of the payments service, is available starting today, and CIBC is the first bank in Canada to support it. To start using Samsung Pay, you’ll need to download the app from the Galaxy Apps store, but first you’ll need to register to get a download link.
There are some limitations, though: You need an eligible Visa credit card to be able to pay with your Samsung smartphone, CIBC MasterCard or US dollar Visa, and Prepaid Visa cards won’t work, SamMobile notes.
Apparently, Samsung won’t limit its payments service to the NFC terminals deployed in Canada, as it owns a technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission, or MST, which essentially eliminates the need for NFC terminals and enables Samsung Pay-ready devices to make a payment at terminals where buyers normally swipe their credit or debit cards.
Will that MST technology and the convenience it promises make you switch platforms to pay with your mobile phone?