Samsung has reported that the Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra no longer sustain Samsung Pay’s convenient Magnetic Safe Transmission (MST) feature. And based on what the business said to Android Police, the same will apply to all devices that Samsung launches from here on out.
If you’re unfamiliar, MST is a really cool trick that enables Samsung phones to send out an electromagnetic pulse that makes payment terminals believe you’ve swiped a normal credit card. The most advantageous thing about this is that MST will operate in situations where NFC payments are not available. It can give the magnetic signal to almost any payment terminal with a conventional card swiper.
MST is by no means perfect: making a first try payment can often be a struggle, and it’s useless in cases where you’ll have to push your card all the way to a slot.
But now it’s gone, with Samsung claiming that NFC acceptance has reached a point where Samsung Pay’s MST aspect can be phased out. “Due to rapid acceptance of near-field communication (NFC) technology by businesses and consumers, starting with devices launched in 2021, Samsung Pay will concentrate its support on NFC transactions across the Galaxy portfolio,” Samsung said in a comment to Android Police. “While future devices will no longer include magnetic strip technology (MST), customers with previous Galaxy compatible devices will be able to continue using Samsung Pay, including MST.”
Samsung phones as latest as the Galaxy S20 FE still had built-in MST functionality, so you shouldn’t have to go far back to find a compliant computer.
This means that with the Galaxy S21 family, Samsung has now decided to get rid of the charging block, the expansion of microSD storage, and the MST.
I get the impression that a lot of customers won’t mind losing some (or all) of those stuff with lower prices starting on the S21 and S21 Plus—but there’s no doubt that Samsung Pay just missed what could have been its best-in-class trick.