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Samsung Pay is Now Available in Spain, Everything You Need to Know : MoMa Trends: Mobile Payments

Blog: MoMa Trends: Mobile Payments

On the 2nd of June, Samsung Pay was officially launched in Spain, bringing the mobile wallet into its first European country. Samsung Pay is also the first mobile payment service of its kind to be launched in Spain, giving it a head start in the market over Apple Pay and Android Pay.

As Samsung Spain VP Celestino García explained in a statement announcing the launch, Spain features a “high smartphone penetration rate” and a quickly digitalizing financial services sector. García added that recent market research commissioned by the company found that almost six in 10 adults in the country are interested in mPayments.

The service launches CaixaBank and ImaginBank support for Visa and Mastercard cards, and Samsung says that Abanca and Banco Sabadell support is in the pipeline.

Just twelve hours after the company announced the official launch of platform in our country, more than 6,000 users activated Samsung Pay. Unfortunately I don’t have any of the devices compatible with the service – Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge-  so I haven’t been able to test it myself, but I’ve been reading as many reviews as possible to bring you some insights about how this mPayment works.

How to Use It

3 sencillos pasos

Samsung Pay allows you scan our cards. So instead of having the physical card in your wallet, your mobile will be sufficient to make all kind of payments in premises with contactless NFC Point of Service (POS). To confirm the payment simply  place the device in close proximity to the POS and authenticate it with your digital footprint. For payments under 20 € the pin won’t be requested as already happens with contactless cards but the footprint will be required. And even if you have no network coverage the payment will work perfectly.

Samsung Pay will also permit online payments from mobile. The e-commerce payment is still under development and Samsung is also in conversations with Paypal.

Payments are safe thanks to three different security layers. Data is encoded on the card and stored safely, only a token is provided the store, but nothing else is shared or uploaded to the cloud. Also, if you lose your phone you can remotely disable it instantly.

How to Configure It

To start using it you just have to download the application or access it from the Samsung Galaxy S7 which already has it pre-installed. You will have to register your fingerprint first or set a PIN, and then associate your card and set from which screens you can access Samsung Pay. The last step will be to carry out a purchase and bring your Galaxy close to the POS to pay.

Samsung Pay Configuration

Missing Out One Major Feature

Samsung Pay in Spain will be missing a key feature: support for magnetic secure transmission (MST), as it only works with near-field communication (NFC)-enabled contactless payment terminals.

As I mentioned in my previous post using MST gives Samsung Pay a key advantage over Apple Pay and Android Pay in the United States because stores don’t have to install new NFC-enabled terminals in order to accept it. Instead, Samsung Pay works by sending a signal that mimics the magnetic strips on credit cards to a MST terminal, which almost all stores that accept cards already have.

However, penetration of the contactless POS in Spain is really high (over 70%), and CaixaBank is not planning to support MST technology, at least in the short term. “Maybe it will be analysed in the future, but not right now.”

My personal opinion

The fact that Samsung has chosen Spain to debut its mobile payment service in Europe means that things are beginning to move in our country and mPayments can be a real trend starting to establish itself in the retail industry.

However in my opinion, and looking at the customer side, the small amount of devices that are compatible with Samsung Pay and their high price by Spanish standards (between 400 and 700 Euros) will limit its use during the first few months. Also, we have to bear in mind that the fact that only 70% of the POS terminal will be compatible with SamsungPay will be an additional restriction.

Samsung Pay beginning to roll out across Spain is great news for those like me who love to see how technology transforms our lives, but only time will tell how widespread its adoption of will truly be.


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Ainara Gonzalez Abaitua
Master in Digital Marketing
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