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Samsung Pay UK: Release date leaked, major feature missing?

Samsung Pay could arrive in the UK as soon as May, if a new report is to be believed.
An insider source within Samsung is said to have revealed “a May Samsung Pay launch”.
That’s as reported by Digital Spy, which claims to have access to someone with knowledge of the matter.
We’ve asked Samsung for comment on the matter, and this article will be updated with any response.
 The report also alleges that Visa won’t be supporting Magnetic Secure Transmission on Samsung Pay, a feature heavily talked up by Samsung for the US market.
MST technology allows a Samsung smartphone to mimic a bank card’s magnetic strip, which means users can pay by tapping their phone on older payment terminals that don’t yet support contactless transfer.
It’s a feature not offered by rival services such as Apple Pay and Google’s Android Pay, putting Samsung slightly ahead of the competition. However, it seems users with Visa cards may not be able to use the system in the UK.
To clarify, Visa users will still be able to pay via contactless in the UK using Samsung Pay, but – if the report is true – they won’t be able to take advantage of MST.

Related: What is Android Pay?

The report suggests that Visa doesn’t want to support MST because it’s arguably an outdated technology.
“We have mature contactless infrastructure in the UK, so we have less use of swipe or mag-stripe experiences,” Jon White, Visa Europe’s head of product enablement strategy is reported as saying.
“It would be wrong to say that we’re not supporting MST,” White continued. “We’re just taking a market-by-market case, and that’s down to us, Samsung, the card makers to make sensible decisions on what experiences are best for consumers.”
Samsung Pay is currently available in South Korea, the United States, and – as of today – China. Samsung hasn’t revealed an official release date for the UK, only confirming that it would arrive in 2016.
Android Pay is set to arrive in the UK in the “coming months”, which means Apple Pay still has a lead over both Google and Samsung in Blighty.
Do you plan to use Samsung Pay? Let us know in the comments.

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