At the Samsung Unpacked event today, Samsung formally announced the release of Samsung Pay, its own mobile payment solution stemming from its acquisition of LoopPay in February. Launching first in South Korea, Samsung Pay is expected to be available in the US on September 28 and will come bundled with the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and the Galaxy Note 5; it will also be downloadable to two older but-still-new Galaxy devices: the S6 and S6 Edge.
Other than the fact that it might potentially beat Android Pay to public release—though really, who knows at this point?—the only solid differentiator Samsung Pay seems to have going for it is its ability to send payment information over MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission), a technology that predates NFC and is supported by a much larger subset of older card readers. This could potentially boost Samsung Pay’s acceptance rate, since it could be used in places without the NFC-equipped readers required for Android Pay to work.
Samsung’s presentation highlighted the universal acceptability of Samsung Pay (leaning on MST). The company also claims that it’s the first mobile payment solution to come to market with support for store-branded credit cards, store membership cards, and gift cards. Card information is protected with Samsung’s "KNOX" technology (the same tech Samsung is has been toying with for dual-role work/home devices for years) and accessed with a fingerprint scan.