New Samsung Pay TV ad takes shots at Apple Pay's retail reachA new Samsung TV ad, featuring comedian Hannibal Buress, continues a theme of pointing out that Samsung Pay can be used in stores where Apple Pay isn't supported.
In the commercial, Buress enters Katz's Delicatessen in New York City and asks to pay with his phone, only to be told "You mean like Apple Pay? We don't have that." Buress then explains that he means Samsung Pay, which "kind of works everywhere," even on "janky" terminals like the one at Katz's.
Samsung Pay is based on technology from LoopPay, which was acquired by Samsung in early 2015. Unlike Apple Pay, which requires that a merchant support both NFC and Apple's specific platform, Samsung Pay can be used virtually anywhere since it works with conventional magnetic card readers as well as NFC. Many American retailers have yet to upgrade to NFC-ready terminals.
The service's main limitations are that in the U.S., a device must be on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, or Verizon, and Samsung currently has a much smaller number of supporting card issuers, among them Citi, Chase, and Bank of America. Compatible devices include the four phones in the S6 series and the Note 5.
Apple Pay's retail presence should expand in 2016, thanks to launches in more countries —most notably China —and efforts to add merchants in existing markets. In the U.S., partners like Cinnabon, Starbucks, KFC, and JCPenney should go live this year.