Originally introduced in 2015 before making its way to Malaysia with beta test in late 2016 and official launch in 2017, one of Samsung Pay‘s major features is a technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST). This particular feature allows the contactless payment platform to emulate magnetic cards so that it can be used on payment terminals that depend on magnetic strip system and do not support NFC or EMV chip.
However, after the launch of Galaxy S21 series a few days ago, it has been reported that the MST support will not be part of Samsung Pay on these new flagship devices in the United States. We have since confirmed with Samsung Malaysia that this will be indeed the case for our market as well.
Specifically, the MST support will not be made available under Samsung Pay anymore on Galaxy flagships in Malaysia from 2021 onwards starting with the Galaxy S21 series. That being said though, the support will not be removed from existing devices.
In general, we do not foresee this as a problem for most Samsung Pay users in Malaysia though as Bank Negara Malaysia has made Chip and Pin compulsory since 2017 which has generally made magnetic-based payment cards rather obsolete. The move to EMV chips has also accelerated the adoption of NFC terminals in Malaysia which is now a common sight everywhere, even for paid toilets.
(Image: Samsung Malaysia.)