Recently, I switched from my ANZ credit card to a new Westpac one. Unfortunately, because it’s not a Westpac Mastercard, I don’t get to use Android Pay. Instead, I get the choice of Westpac’s own implementation of NFC Payments, or Samsung Pay.
Westpac’s implementation, like Commbank’s, is not that great. When I set it up it broke, and it took quite a while (read: hours) to get it working. Once I got it running, I used it once and found it to be tempermental. So I quickly wrote it off. So I thought I’d give Samsung Pay a go.
Unlike Android Pay and most other mobile payment implementations, Samsung Pay has the option of transmitting the payment using Magnetic Secure Transmission. What this means is that the terminal doesn’t need to support traditional contactless, it just needs to have a magstripe reader, which most machines do.
While this is less of a problem in Australia than it is in some countries (indeed, most machines that don’t have inbuilt contactless readers here usually have an external reader – and even then, most banks seem to be in the process of replacing these machines with newer models with inbuilt contactless readers), it is a nifty feature if you do find yourself in a position where the contactless reader isn’t working.
That said, like many things like this, it works sometimes and sometimes doesn’t, and this seems to depend not only on the machine but the software on the machine as well.
I’ll update this post as I use it with different machines with the results.
Edit: I stopped updating this post because Westpac eventually came to their senses and added support for Google Pay for the majority of their cards.