Everywhere you can use Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay makes paying for your purchases easier than ever, but knowing when it will work is handy in a pinch. There are plenty of places that work well with Samsung Pay, but it definitely isn't available everywhere. We've got the details for you on where it works, and where it doesn't.

Where can I use Samsung Pay?

Samsung Pay will work at terminals that use NFC or MST—Magnetic Secure Transmission —payments. While you may be pretty familiar with NFC payments, Samsung phones are the only ones using MST to render payments.

MST Technology allows your phone to trick a terminal into thinking a card has been swiped by using a magnetic field. Using this technology your phone is able to magnetically swipe at terminals as though it were a real card, even if the terminal does not support tap and pay.

Essentially what you need to use Samsung Pay is a terminal where it is possible to just tap or magnetically 'swipe' your phone in order to pay. Now, many folks currently have credit or debit cards that require a chip reader in order to render payments. Depending on the card that you are using, the virtual card supplied in the app should be able to bypass this by delivering a virtual card without a chip. And thanks to tokenization, a process that randomizes the numbers of your virtual card from those of your real, physical one, if the terminal is compromised and those numbers are stolen, it shouldn't affect your account as a whole.

Many retailers that are set up to accept Samsung Pay as a payment method have a sticker on their terminal. This makes it easy to tell at a glance if Samsung Pay is accepted, although in some locations it will work even if it isn't indicated.

What does not support Samsung Pay?

Samsung Pay is supported at many different locations, from grocery stores to convenience stores to Square readers. However, it isn't going to work everywhere. Specifically the place where you are going to run into problems is anywhere that requires you to insert your card in order to process payment.

This means that locations like ATMs, or vending machines are not going to be able to process Samsung Pay purchases if they require you to insert a bank card. While you do have a virtual card saved to your account, it isn't physical and thus can't be inserted into the machines.

The big thing to remember is that Samsung Pay is only going to work in locations that have a magnetic strip reader using MST, or access to NFC contactless technology. In some cases you may still run into issues with companies updating their terminals for chip technology.

What do terminals that use Samsung Pay look like?

Since so many places now support Samsung Pay, it can be a little bit difficult to figure out which ones don't support this payment method. We've collected some photos for you, so that you know when Samsung Pay ought to work, and when it won't.

We tested out terminals in chain stores like Target and Journeys, along with vending machines that take Samsung Pay.

Now when it comes to places that aren't currently accepting Samsung Pay, you'll often be looking at older locations that haven't updated their terminals yet.

Have you used Samsung Pay?

Samsung Pay lets you tap your phone to a terminal in order to pay with your phone, and it's available for use at thousands upon thousands of locations. While it doesn't work everywhere, or in every case, it is a handy alternative to digging through your wallet for your card. Have you used Samsung Pay? Let us know about it in the comments below!

Jen Karner

Jen is a staff writer who spends her time researching the products you didn't know you needed. She's also a fantasy novelist and has a serious Civ VI addiction. You can follow her on Twitter.