Samsung Pay update lets you redeem gift cards and buy new ones

The company says 50 retailers are already on board, such as GameStop, Gap, and Whole Foods.

samsung pay

An employee demonstrates a Samsung Pay, Samsung's new mobile payment system at a shop in Seoul, South Korea, September 4, 2015.

Credit: REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Samsung wants to keep you from forgetting about all those gift cards shoved in your desk. 

The company’s mobile payment service, Samsung Pay, now lets you redeem gift cards at supported retailers and purchase new ones directly in the app. Fifty stores are currently on board, with Samsung pledging that more will come later.

To redeem a gift card, the merchant will need to scan your screen or enter a code. Unfortunately you can’t use the crazy-cool Magnetic Secure Transmission that lets you use your phone at payment terminals without NFC.

Other stores on the list include Babies “R” Us, Toys “R” Us, Bass Pro Shops, Domino’s, eBay, Nike, Regal Entertainment Group, and Staples.

Why this matters: This gives Samsung Pay a needed feature to stay competitive with Android Pay. Plus if you have a new Galaxy device this might be the impetus to try out Samsung pay, if for no other reason than to make sure all those holiday gift cards are kept in one, safe place.

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