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Samsung gets Hannibal Buress to give Apple Pay a knuckle sandwich

Technically Incorrect: In a new ad featuring comedian Hannibal Buress, Samsung shows that its Pay app, unlike Apple's, works in almost any store. Even New York's Katz's Delicatessen.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Cool in the Katz.

Samsung/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I haven't quite succumbed to waving my phone around in every store I shop in order to pay.

Mostly, this is because I'm too busy staring into it replying to WhatsApp messages while waiting in line.

I know this isn't logical, but my habits are hard to break.

Samsung, however, is trying valiantly to get you to use its Pay service and to regard Apple Pay as an elitist token of frippery.

In a new ad, comedian Hannibal Buress wanders into Katz's Delicatessen in New York. They know him there. They like him there. Especially when he comes in with a camera crew.

Hannibal wants a pastrami sandwich and asks, all innocent: "Can I pay with my phone?"

"You mean like Apple Pay?" says the Katz man, with a gritty disdain. He looks like he would neither suffer a fool, nor even acknowledge that fool's existence.

Oh, no, insists Hannibal. He wouldn't stoop to that namby-pamby Apple nonsense. He's an aficionado of Samsung Pay. The glory of this is that it works almost everywhere.

This is because it doesn't just use near field communication technology (NFC), but also magnetic secure transmission (MST). While the former needs a special NFC terminal, the latter works with existing credit card readers.

Here at Katz's, tradition is adhered to like loyalty to your personal -- and likely second-rate -- New York sports team. (Disclosure: resident of the Bay Area, three World Series and an NBA championship in the last few years.)

The Katz boys don't believe Hannibal can make his fancy gizmo work. Then he does. They are amazed. Actually, some are a touch sickened that their belief it wouldn't was disabused.

It's a pleasant little ad, one that makes Samsung the brand of the people and Apple the brand of the people who shop at Burberry.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says that the usage of Apple Pay is "relatively low." He does add that the service is the "share leader."

Perhaps that's why Samsung, which has quite a few problems to deal with currently, is hoping that if it's cool for Katz, it will be cool for you too.