AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint Supports Samsung Pay: How About Verizon?


Verizon may not be jumping into the Samsung Pay ship as swiftly as its rivals, but that is no evidence that Big Red will not support Samsung's upcoming mobile payments system in the future.

News that Verizon was not supporting Samsung Pay first broke out when eagle-eyed Redditors first caught the absence of Verizon in the list of Samsung Pay's partner banks and carriers. While AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular have all signed up to offer Samsung Pay at launch, Verizon obviously doesn't. A Samsung Support agent in the U.S. confirmed the news as well.

This has led the Twitter-verse talking about history repeating itself, referring back to the days of Google Wallet when the mobile carriers refused to incorporate Google's mobile payments system because they were working on their own system, the unfortunately-named Isis, which was later renamed Softcard before eventually being acquired by Google.

But now that Softcard is no more and the carriers do not have a rival mobile payments system to work on, there really is no reason for Verizon to reject Samsung Pay. Indeed, even though Samsung says Verizon is not part of Samsung Pay right now, Verizon does not categorically say it will not support the new system in the future.

In an email sent to ZDNet, a Verizon spokesperson says the carrier is still looking into Samsung Pay, which means, no decisions have been made just yet.

"We are still in the process of evaluating Samsung Pay and we will keep customers updated on any news regarding the service," Verizon says.

Samsung Pay was officially unveiled at Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event last week, with the backing of all the big names in the financial industry, including American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa, Bank of America and U.S. Bank.

Samsung Pay differentiates itself from Apple Pay and Google Wallet by using two distinct technologies to accept payments. Like its older rivals, Samsung Pay uses NFC to send a one-time virtual card number to the point-of-sale terminal to represent the transaction.

However, because NFC systems require newer, more expensive terminals that may put off merchants from accepting mobile payments, Samsung has opted to include magnetic secure transmission (MST) into Samsung Pay to be able to use the same magnetic strip technology that is still used in most credit cards today, although it still includes a one-time virtual card number to ensure the security of each transaction and prevent data thefts from getting hold of users' financial details.

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