Samsung cuts US support for MST transactions on new Galaxy phones

Samsung Galaxy S21 smartphone
DISCONTINUED SUPPORT: Samsung is no longer including MST technology on its Galaxy S21 phones in the USA

Owners of Samsung’s new Galaxy S21 smartphones in the USA will not be able to make payments using Samsung Pay’s magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology.

Although company publicity for Galaxy S21 lists both MST and NFC as payment options available on the new phones, Samsung says that “payment solutions and available features may vary depending on market, carrier, service providers”.

The company has subsequently confirmed that it has discontinued support for MST on Galaxy S21 devices in the USA in favour of NFC.

“Due to the rapid adoption of near field communication (NFC) technology by consumers and businesses, beginning with devices launched in 2021, Samsung Pay will focus its support on NFC transactions, across the Galaxy portfolio,” the firm said in a statement reported on Twitter by Ars Technica writer Ron Amadeo and republished by XDA.

“While future devices will no longer include magnetic stripe technology (MST), customers with previous, compatible Galaxy devices will be able to continue using Samsung Pay, including MST.”

Galaxy S21 smartphones sold in South Africa, India and the UK will continue to offer both MST and NFC payment options, according to Android Authority.

“Coincidentally the above-mentioned regions all have the Exynos 2100 processor rather than the Snapdragon 888 chipset,” the publication adds.

Samsung was reported to have paid some US$250m to acquire LoopPay, the developer of MST, in May 2015 and launched Samsung Pay in the US with support for both NFC and MST payments in September 2015.

Samsung Pay revealed earlier this month that it is also winding down its Samsung Rewards programme in the USA.

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