The launch of the Galaxy S21 series gave us three brand new phones powered by the Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 processor, depending on your region. The range is full of features but missing one or two constants from previous years, such as MicroSD card support that has been firmly kicked to the curb by Samsung this year. However, there’s another stalwart feature that has been omitted that will be missed most in the US – the omission of MST support from Samsung Pay.
Magnetic Stripe Technology (MST) allows Samsung Pay users to use contactless payments at terminals without support NFC by pretending that it had a magnetic card stripe. It was a handy workaround that, although it didn’t work 100% of the time, was particularly popular in the US where payment terminals with NFC connectivity weren’t commonplace years ago.
According to a statement Samsung gave Android Police, MST will be omitted from US versions of its phones beginning with the Galaxy S21 series.
“Due to the rapid adoption of near field communication (NFC) technology by consumers and businesses, beginning with devices launched in 2021, Samsung Pay will focus its support on NFC transactions, across the Galaxy portfolio. While future devices will no longer include magnetic stripe technology (MST), customers with previous, compatible Galaxy devices will be able to continue using Samsung Pay, including MST“
While Samsung may have a point about NFC terminals being widely available in the US now, smaller businesses tend to update their hardware less frequently, and even Walmart still persists with the non-NFC terminals in some of its stores.
It’s a bummer for those in the US who relied on Samsung Pay’s MST support, but it would seem that European models will still include the technology. Whether it’s something to do with using the Snapdragon 888 in the US and the Exynos 2100 in Europe isn’t known at this point. It should be noted that devices that launched before the Galaxy S21 still support MST, so there’s no need to panic on that front.
Perhaps it’s a sign to move over to Google Pay that offers better rewards and a much more integrated experience.
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