Update 2: And it's available now. Huzzah.
Update: Verizon exec Jeffrey Nelson tweeted that Samsung Pay is still in testing but will be available on March 11, the official launch date of the Galaxy S7.
.@SamsungSupport confirms Samsung Pay is— Jeffrey Nelson (@JNels) March 9, 2016
undergoing testing & will be avail on schedule for our 3/11 launch of
Galaxy S7 & Galaxy S7 edge
Verizon has not blocked or removed or otherwise squashed Samsung Pay from being loaded on the Galaxy S7. As we noted in our Galaxy S7 review, the app itself isn't preloaded on the phone. But the framework very much remains in place, and in fact we've been using Samsung Pay without issue on our review unit GS7, as loaded from Google Play on March 1.
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Verizon Wireless spokesman Albert Aydin reiterated to Android Central that Samsung Pay absolutely is not being blocked.
"Samsung Pay is supported on the Verizon S7 models," Aydin said in an email. "It's accurate that it's not a preload but we have not blocked or prevented the app from working on the device. Once it's available for download, customers can add or remove it whenever they'd like."
But Samsung Pay currently cannot be loaded from Google Play on the GS7, nor does it show up in Samsung's own app store. So what gives? Most likely is that Samsung Pay is missing because the Galaxy S7 isn't officially available until March 11. While that doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, it's certainly more rational than thinking Verizon's blocking an app it clearly isn't blocking, and says it isn't blocking. (We've got Samsung checking on things as well and will update when we hear back.)
Why's this a big deal? First, Samsung Pay is a really good mobile payment system. While it's still adding banks (and doesn't have the same workaround for that as Android Pay), it makes up for that deficit with a its MST feature — that's magnetic secure transmission — which allows the phone to pay for transactions anywhere there's a traditional card reader.
But moreover is that Verizon not supporting a major feature of a new Samsung phones that it supports on its other Samsung phones just doesn't make sense. And in this case isn't true anyway. We should see Samsung Pay available very shortly.