Samsung Pay goes live in the UK with iris scan authentication and faster transit payments

Samsung Pay in the UK
NEW ARRIVAL: Samsung Pay has begun rolling out in the UK with support from three financial institutions

Samsung Pay is now available in the UK for customers of three financial institutions — MBNA, Nationwide and Santander — with “more on the way”. The service supports iris scan authentication as well as PIN and fingerprint authentication for Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ owners and offers a ‘transport card’ option designed to speed up transactions on busy Transport for London (TfL) services.

The transport card service is available for use on London buses, the Tube, London Trams, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail, Emirates Air Line, River Bus and most National Rail services in London, Samsung says.

The option means “you don’t even need to wake your phone or verify with a fingerprint, iris scanner or PIN – simply touch the middle section of your phone against the card reader.”

Samsung Pay users will also be able to upload their loyalty cards “at selected merchants in the UK, accumulate and redeem points”. Users “can also keep up to date on offers in stores where Samsung Pay is available.”

Merchants that already accept contactless payment will not need to update their terminals to accept payments with Samsung Pay, Visa explains in a separate announcement, “nor will there be any additional cost for the merchant or the Visa cardholder”.

Expanding ecosystem

As well as the Galaxy S8/S8+, Samsung Pay is also supported in the UK on the Galaxy S7/S7 edge and on S6/S6 edge devices “which have the Android Nougat 7.0 software update”. The service will also “become available on additional devices in the coming months,” Samsung says.

Samsung Pay “will continue to expand its partnership ecosystem to provide greater flexibility, access and choice for customers in the UK,” the company adds. “Currently, Samsung Pay supports major payment networks including Mastercard and Visa and cards issued by MBNA , Nationwide and Santander, with more partners including American Express, first direct, HSBC and M&S Bank joining soon”.

“Following the launch of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ earlier this year, we are thrilled to be introducing another innovative service to our latest flagship devices, reinforcing our commitment to making people’s lives easier,” says Samsung Electronics UK’s Conor Pierce. “We hope the UK launch of Samsung Pay will transform the way our customers pay for day-to-day items, giving consumers a safer, smarter mobile wallet.”