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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 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.

85 Comments
  • I've had nothing but issues with using Samsung Pay. The first few days it worked great, and now it is consistently declined. I've removed and re-added cards, called my bank etc. It's just not reliable enough for me to feel comfortable leaving the wallet at home.
  • Very true. For me it works 50% of the time which makes it too unreliable to use everyday. Not only is it embarrassing when it gets declined (and time consuming), but I then have to pull out the physical card, which defeats the whole purpose of using Samsung Pay.
  • Yeah the MST technology isn't that reliable.. Which sort of puts Samsung in the same ballpark as all those other solutions, where the availability of NFC terminals decides if it's good or not
  • This is very surprising. I have had nothing but good experiences with android pay.
  • I tried to use it at CVS and a message on the card reader said this machine does not accept contactless payment. I also used Samsung Pay at Harris Teeter grocery store and, although the transaction worked, the manager said they do not allow mobile payment. I emailed the corporate office and they confirmed this. The biggest issue is at restaurants where they bring the bill to the table. It is just easier at this time to use a credit card.
  • I used mine at Harris Teeter today (5/12) with no problem. The manager happened to be standing right there, and he said, "I'm glad that went through, because they shut off Apple Pay and Android Pay." He explained that the corporate office shut off NFC for the moment. So, they DO accept mobile payments, but they DON'T accept NFC payments.
  • At cvs you have to put it next to the card reader. The terminal has nfc but they block it
  • Naturally, MST will become less and less needed as NFC-capable terminals start blanketing even more locations and store-chains.
  • But, naturally, Samsung Pay's MST is needed right now enabling owners of Samsung Galaxy phones to confidently make payments where Iphone & other Android users can't. October 2015 was when retailers were supposed to have transitioned fully to non magnetic strip card readers. We're well into 2017 and most retailers are still using magnetic strip. Not util the Galaxy S10 or S11 will other Android phones and Iphones be on a level playing field.
  • That's Ok. It works with NFC as well.
  • I use it quite frequently. No issues at all.
  • Same here. I use it with my Gear S3. People are always saying, "You paid with your watch?" Fun.
  • I use it all the time no issues. Only thing is trying to find that sweet spot on some machines.
  • I works everywhere for me. 10x faster than the chip reader, I hate waiting on the people using those in front of me. Almost at 8000 points and stay on Platinum status.
  • yup, that's a major benefit, so much slower with the chip, Samsung Pay is great
  • My feeling as well. Good on Samsung.
  • I agree. I've already gotten a free set of Samsung Bluetooth headset plus a Samsung Visa gift card, just for buying things I would normally swipe my to get. An addition my gear frontier works just as well.
  • This really pegs it: you are not doing anything extra. I still need the milk I buy whether I pay cash, swipe a card or use my phone. Might as well "get paid" to buy the ordinary things I buy anyway. I think I've gotten $60.00 in Visa and Best Buy gift cards. Wish they would throw a Gear Fit 3 on the redeem list.
  • I've used it all over India, it works almost everywhere!
  • First trip to Wal Mart yesterday it failed. Later on when I went back, it worked fine. It has worked at Wally's more than it has failed.
  • Wal-Mart is hit and miss for me. I think it depends on the card being used (debit/credit) and the terminal.
  • To be fair, even swiping a card at​ Walmart is pretty hit or miss lol
  • I always have to hold the phone still and for longer at Wal-Mart. Never had it not work though sometimes takes 2 or 3 tries.
  • I used it for the first time at Safeway. The cashier was surprised because he said he watched dozens of people try and use their phone to pay and it failed. I doubt he was paying attention to what types of phones they were using, and I did not bother to ask.
  • You can also use it with users that take Square payments. The little reader will accept Samsung Pay. I've found that Ingenico card readers are hit and miss, mainly miss (for example, in my area, Home Depot and 7-11). Everyplace else though, works like a dream. I've been Platinum for rewards since they came out with the rewards program.
  • Went to use mine yesterday and it had removed my card from it. Anyone had this happen before?
  • Yes, it happened to me. It "removed" the card but it was kinda still there. I just had to scroll to the bottom and tap "add card" and re-authorize it with the bank. Took about 2 minutes. So wasn't a terrible inconvenience, just weird.
  • Unless you use a nationwide bank or credit card, it's almost worthless here in Kansas. Very few local banks support it.
  • It works about half the time. I usually only use it if there's nobody waiting in line behind me. Once it did save my bacon when I forgot my wallet.
  • A big tip that the AC should include in their article is this: Most places *may* fail only because the cashier did not hit the "credit card" tender button on their POS before you initiate the MST "tap". Home Depot is notorious for this. You must tell the cashier "credit card" before tapping. If you are at their self check scanners, hit the credit card button yourself. I think it's the interference with paypal at HD, but I'm not certain of that. Second, I have been getting more "card read" errors on initial tap, but just wait until the machine clears that, and try to tap again. It'll work. Everything else in article is fairly accurate. Plunge card readers like gas stations don't work, though some say they can find the sweet spot and it will work via MST, YMMV. Also, places like Noodles and Co that have card swipers on the POS monitor that the cashier usually swipes, will let you just hold your phone up there, I do it all the time. Safety first!
  • Very true. Most stores aren't trained for mobile payments so they look lost lol
  • I have been using Samsung pay since I got my Galaxy S7 Edge and now using it on the S8.i make over 40 purchases a month with it and it works 99% of the time almost everywhere. The gift cards alone I've gotten from using it makes it worth it nevermind all the Samsung Points I'm accumulating for using the same card I would normally use just on my phone instead
  • I used it on my Gear S3 for the first time yesterday. Worked just fine for me. I'll be using it more in the future.
  • I use it regularly. I have only experienced one issue, and that's at Starbucks. It's always declines my transaction. I think it's on Starbucks' end. I think it's a great app.
  • Same here, starbucks is is the only place that ever gave me a issue.
  • Keep trying at Starbucks. In my experience, the first time it says "declined," then it fails, then it works. There are a few stores where you have to got through letting it fail first.
  • I've never been to Starbucks but try letting the first timer run out on Samsung pay before holding the phone up then hit "retry" the retry sends the payment slightly different from what I understand. This is the only way to get it to work at Lowe's maybe Starbucks is the same.
  • I'd love to use it but it's not available in the UK yet. Come on Samsung pull your finger out and bring it to the UK!.
  • I have used it various places around town, and the only issue I have ever had was at Wal-Mart. Not sure what they do, but for some reason I can't get it to work there (at least at the self-check). Also for those of you on the fence, here is a code that you can use to earn a $5 gift card the first time you use it: AC279F
  • Horrible. Don't even try it anymore. Doesn't work at most places I try it. Lowes, Home Depot, Trader Joes in Ca.
    A waste of time.
  • U gotta make sure u tell em it's credit.
  • I use it at Home Depot all the time. Works great.
  • I have read that it depends on that specific Home Depot store if they support it or not. Mine does not. But have been to others that do. Nice and confusing. lol
  • I love it. I never have a problem and people always say that it is so cool.
  • Only place I can never get it to work is Lowe's. Everywhere else I shop it works just fine. Very convenient and love the points rewards.
  • Lowe's has a known issue, you HAVE to let the first Samsung Pay timer run out WITHOUT touching card reader, then hit "RETRY" and then hold to the reader as usual. Apparently it's a problem with Lowe's system and the retry sends payment info slightly differently to make it work. I have only had 1 of 10 times there I couldn't​ get it to work doing that (actually one specific register).
    Source:
    https://forums.androidcentral.com/showthread.php?p=5197411
  • Hmm, very interesting. I'll have to try that next time. Thanks for the tip.
  • Love the, "oh we don't take Apple pa....(BLIP)...oh..." moments.
  • Lol always priceless
  • Only time my fanboyishness rears its ugly head.
  • LMAO
  • True, then I nicely say, " I have the one that works.... Not the apple one." Lol
  • Ouch. DAAYYUUMMM. I try to take the high road but it just grates on me the even the average person doesn't get that every phone is not an iPhone. I mean we don't all drive Civics and Corollas either.
  • I use it all the time without any issues.
  • If the terminal doesn't support tap you have to hold the phone next to the card swipe area. Works every time with a little patience. Makes restaurant server's look at you like you're a miracle worker
  • Instead of looking up if the place I'm at supports Samsung pay, it's easier to pull out my bank card.
  • Just try the Samsung pay first and have your card ready if you're that worried. it works at like 99% of stores I visit.
  • Use it just about everyday on my Gear S3 with little to no issues. I'd say that it works around 95% of the time. However, just last week, I did have a clerk at a travel store in LAS tell me they don't allow mobile payments, which I thought was silly.
  • silly question, but i've always wondered this: do i need to have NFC turned on in order for that type of contactless technology to work in Samsung Pay? i always have NFC turned off, as i don't use it for anything else...but am i missing out then and SP is only using MSP then?...or does SP turn on NFC for you (invisibly) when you open the app, and turn it off when you exit?
  • No u don't need to turn on nfc. I never turn my on and works like a charm!
  • I believe it automatically turns on NFC and attempts that first and then switches to mst.
  • I've had 100% success rate with Samsung Pay and I have well over 3000 points to get free stuff from various stores and Samsung. I love using Samsung Pay.
  • I've had 100% success rate using Samsung Pay. I have well over 7000 points to use to get free stuff from various stores and Samsung.
  • Which is it, 3000 or 7000.
    LOL
  • I meant 7000 but couldn't find my first post to edit it.
  • That doesn't work here! Always the same expression by the cashier. In my experience most of the time the transaction has problems is the cashier hitting cancel. Walmart ia hit and miss, most of the time i have to do it twice and works now cashiers have started pushing for walmart pay... Some times i think walmart found a way to block the transaction, the worst part is the stare like I'm trying to do something I'm not supposed to do. Some other merchants refuse to do it because they don't have the knowledge. Other than that i try to use it everywhere I am. Can't leave cards at home yet just in case. But started to see more terminals with NFC readers, again most cashiers don't know how to use them or blocked my merchant.
  • Has anyone used Samsung Pay at Costco? I want to use it but there is always a line behind me and I'm afraid of causing a delay.
  • I use it at Costco all the time, no problems. Even at the food court. Now if it would work at the gas pumps, that would be nice!
  • At my Costco the pumps were recently upgraded with an NFC reader but the attendant said it hasn't been activated yet.
  • You can use it at a lot of gas pumps, just have to insert any card first to activate the reader (I swipe my license upside down) while holding your phone up next to the reader. Certain readers must be deeper or shaped weird that won't work but I've used it at several gas pumps around here.
  • Yup, Costco is good. The guy saw that I had my phone out and said "Samsung Pay"? I said yup and it was WAY faster than a chip card!
  • Its the main reason I will stay with Samsung works flawlessly everywhere. Even out of my country of residence I had no problems
  • It works with readers which require you to insert the card. Sometimes they ask you last 4 digit of card..
  • I used it and works great with one minor problem. At some locations the Cashier will say oh This doesn't work here when it actually does work there.
    They think its like the Apple pay system or something.
    GSOgymrat it works at Cosco I had already 2 cashiers say we don't accept but it does work.
  • Use it all the time! Most fun of shopping. As previous posters have mentioned - make sure it's set up for credit when you use it - finding the sweet spot is sometimes challenging. Just the other day I used it at a Burger King and the manager was so excited it worked he took a picture of me, my samsung pay and the receipt that ran automatically - He had won $50 from a bet with his Manager! I'm Platinum and accumulating points ...
  • Next year, my work phone is due for an upgrade. Work should be offering the S8 at that time. I may try samsung pay, to see how well it works at places I would regularly shop.
  • Typically works perfectly. Had an issue last night at Lowes but I think it was checker error. Very pleased
  • Lowe's has a known issue, you HAVE to let the first Samsung Pay timer run out WITHOUT touching card reader, then hit "RETRY" and then hold to the reader as usual. Apparently the retry sends payment info slightly differently and works on their system. I have only had 1/10 times there I couldn't​ get it to work.
    Source:
    https://forums.androidcentral.com/showthread.php?p=5197411
  • Love using Samsung Pay. I probably take my wallet out now only 20% of the time. It is great since the new chip technology where you have to insert the card is so slow to approve. Also, like the rewards system. Have gotten a few things free from the program.
  • I haven't had any problems at all. I probably use samsung pay 90 to 95 percent of time. The movies and the bar are basically the only places that don't take it I used it twice today at places that pretty much nobody would have thought to use it. Apple pay doesn't have the option where if the terminal is not nfc based it won't work. That's the biggest flaw with them. I use it at multiple places a day and get gift cards with my points very frequently. I have the iris set up on my s8 plus so that's amazing. But I know that if I don't get a checkmark on my end I don't get the points. But I still can pay. Like at this place I go to called world market. The don't have it because their terminals are older but I can still pay.
  • I love using it. Two funny experiences recently. First was at Dunkin Donuts where the clerk boldly said "Sorry, we don't take Apple Pay!" I said cool, I'm not using Apple Pay. Held my phone next to the terminal and when it beeped, his face was priceless. Same sort of thing paying for my car's state inspection at the gas station. The guy said, "sorry dude, these terminals are like 20 years old. That fancy stuff doesn't work." Again, just held my phone next to the old terminal, BEEP...then shock and awe. Lol
  • No issues here with Samsung Pay.
  • I use it anywhere that will take it, most recently to pick up a pizza at Domino's and then with my new Easypass+ to get gas at the Exxon station down the street, worked great
  • Does samsung pay work with Target RED Card?
  • So far I've used it at McDonald's and even at the Safeway gas station where your only option is to insert a physical card. I did the "trick" and then activated Samaung Pay and held my S8+ up against the card reader and it immediately sensed it and processed my payment. Reward points, here I come!