Similar to Apple Pay, Samsung Pay lets users make payments using their smartphones at any vendor that accepts credit cards. To make a payment on the app, users tap with their device, then swipe up, scan their fingerprint or input a four-digit PIN, and tap to pay.
However, unlike Apple Pay, Samsung Pay doesn’t rely on a tap to pay terminals completely. Both use near-field communication technology in order to process tap to pay payments, but Samsung Pay can also connect with older payment devices that rely on magnetic secure transmissions by holding the phone next to the older device.
The app is available today for CIBC visa cardholders, who can use it on compatible Samsung smartphones including the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, and S6 Edge Plus, and the Galaxy Note5.
In a statement, Samsung called it “the first step” in bringing the full Samsung Pay service to Canadians.
“Global adoption rates of Samsung pay are extremely positive and the service has already seen tremendous success,” Paul Brannen, executive vice president of Samsung Canada said in a Nov. 8 statement.
Samsung Pay enters Canada at a slightly higher step than competitor Apple Pay did last year, when it launched in Canada with just the support of American Express cards. However, despite a five month setback, this spring, the five major Canadian banks all announced support for Apple’s mobile payment system.
One of the reasons for why RBC in particular delayed support for Apple Pay was that the bank was waiting for Apple Pay to support both debit and credit cards. With Samsung Pay only supporting visa cards at launch, it may take further credit and debit card support before other Canadian banks begin supporting the new mobile payment app.
Samsung Pay’s Canadian launch follows global launches in the U.S., South Korea, Puerto Rico, Australia, China, Singapore, Spain, and Brazil. Supported by more than 450 major global and regional banks, it is currently the world’s most accepted mobile payment system.