Does Sonic Take Samsung Pay?

Sonic Drive-In is a popular fast food restaurant chain known for its extensive menu of burgers, hot dogs, frozen treats, and more. With nearly 3,500 locations across the United States, Sonic has cultivated a loyal customer base thanks to its trademark carhop service and focus on drive-in dining. Samsung Pay is a mobile payment service developed by Samsung that allows users to make purchases simply by tapping their compatible Galaxy smartphone at a payment terminal. With Samsung Pay’s wide acceptance and Sonic’s retro roots, you may be wondering – can you use Samsung Pay at Sonic?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a deep dive into Sonic’s payment options, the ins and outs of how Samsung Pay works, and what that means for using Samsung’s mobile wallet at the famous drive-in chain.

A Look at Sonic Drive-In

Sonic first opened its doors in Shawnee, Oklahoma in 1953 under the name Top Hat Drive-In. The founder Troy Smith Sr. pioneered the concept of carhop service – allowing customers to order, dine, and be served all from the comfort of their vehicles. This model was a hit, and Sonic began expanding in the following decades. The name was changed to Sonic Drive-In in the late 1950s.

Today, Sonic has over 3,500 locations across 45 U.S. states and is considered one of the largest drive-in restaurant chains. It employs over 3,500 people and has cultivated a retro, nostalgic feel with its roller-skating carhops and extensive menu of hot dogs, burgers, frozen custard, milkshakes, and unique slush-style drinks. Popular food items include footlong Quarter Pound Coney hot dogs, specialty burgers like the Sonic Bacon Cheeseburger, and Master Shake milkshakes.

Sonic is popular for its vintage carhop service and customization options that allow customers to fully personalize their meals. You can dine-in in your car with carhop delivery, stop by the walk-up window, or enter the restaurant at select locations. Sonic targets families, students, and younger demographics with its affordable American classics, kid-friendly options, and lively retro atmosphere.

How Samsung Pay Works?

Samsung Pay is a mobile payment service introduced by Samsung in 2015 as a way to use your compatible Galaxy smartphone to make quick, secure purchases. It works by mimicking the magnetic stripe on a traditional credit or debit card so it can communicate with standard card readers.

Samsung Pay relies on both NFC (near field communication) and MST (magnetic secure transmission) technology to transmit payment data to terminals. NFC allows tap-and-go style payments at newer point-of-sale systems with built-in NFC readers. MST replicates the magnetic signal from your physical card’s stripe, so Samsung Pay works at most payment terminals – even older ones without NFC capabilities.

To use Samsung Pay, you need a compatible Samsung Galaxy smartphone like the S20, S21, S22, or a recent Galaxy Watch model. You must have a Samsung account, and register at least one debit, credit, gift, or loyalty card within the Samsung Pay app. Supported cards include those from major issuers like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.

When paying, simply wake your phone or watch screen, swipe up to open your Samsung Pay cards, select one, and tap or hold your device over the payment terminal until it beeps or you see the transaction complete. Samsung Pay uses tokenization and Samsung Knox security to keep your real card details private.

Sonic’s Payment Options

At Sonic Drive-In locations, customers have several options to pay for their signature slushes, footlongs, and cheeseburgers. Traditional payment methods accepted include:

  • Cash
  • Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover)
  • Debit cards and PIN-based debit transactions
  • Sonic gift cards and pre-paid cards

You can use these payment methods at the drive-thru speaker and window, walk-up windows, or in-restaurant counters if dining inside. Based on Sonic’s website and other official sources, the chain does not appear to directly accept any third-party mobile payment options yet, like:

  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Samsung Pay

Does Sonic Take Samsung Pay?

With Samsung Pay’s wide acceptance at millions of merchants, you may assume it would be accepted at Sonic. However, based on a lack of official confirmation from Sonic and reports from Samsung Pay users, this does not appear to be the case currently.

There are no indications on Sonic’s website, app, or other customer materials that they accept Samsung Pay in any capacity. Sonic also has not announced any partnerships or integrations with Samsung Pay. This lack of promotion implies the mobile wallet option is not supported.

Furthermore, there are no positive reports of successfully using Samsung Pay at Sonic on forums, Reddit, Twitter, and other sources. Many Samsung phone owners have reported trying to use Samsung Pay at various Sonic drive-ins without success. Based on these factors, it appears Sonic does not yet take Samsung Pay.

Why Sonic May Not Accept Samsung Pay

With Samsung Pay’s wide reach, why doesn’t Sonic take it yet? There are a few possible reasons the drive-in chain may not have adopted the mobile payment tech:

  • Costs – Integrating new payment systems requires upfront software, hardware, and support costs. NFC readers must be purchased for tap-and-go if desired. As a budget-friendly fast food chain, Sonic may have opted not to take on these expenses yet.
  • Minimal need – Sonic’s drive-up service style means customers don’t leave their cars. Taking out a phone or watch to pay may not be worth the convenience. Orders are also usually inexpensive. These factors lower the demand for mobile pay.
  • Slow adoption in quick-service – While growing, mobile wallets have been more slowly adopted by major fast food chains compared to other industries. Many are still cash and card-only. Sonic may be taking a “wait and see” approach.
  • Security concerns – Mobile payment tech opens new potential vulnerabilities like hacking or spoofing. Sonic may be being intentionally cautious about integrating and testing new systems before rolling them out wider.
  • Lack of consumer demand – Without customers actively requesting or inquiring about Samsung Pay, Sonic has less pressure to add support for it quickly at the cost of other business priorities.

The Future of Payments at Sonic

While Samsung Pay is not accepted currently, there are good chances Sonic will integrate mobile wallet support and contactless payments more deeply in the future based on a few positive indicators:

  • Growing adoption – Mobile payments have become more mainstream and consumers increasingly expect and demand this functionality. Adoption is steadily growing in the restaurant industry.
  • Added convenience – Allowing Samsung Pay and tap-and-go payments would speed up ordering and checkout times – a major plus in the busy quick-service world.
  • Customer service – As a customer-focused brand, Sonic aims to deliver hospitality and service. Enabling flexible payment methods caters to consumer preferences.
  • New technology rollouts – Sonic has shown willingness to innovate, like its partnership with Mastercard on Sound Order in 2020. This indicates openness to modern payment tech.
  • Future-proofing – Contactless and mobile payments are the future of transactions. Integrating them helps Sonic restaurants stay cutting-edge and relevant.

We expect Sonic will respond to increasing consumer interest in mobile payments by eventually allowing customers to use Samsung Pay and other contactless options. However, the drive-in chain has not confirmed any upcoming support. We recommend checking with your local Sonic to see if Samsung Pay may be accepted at that location.


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about using Samsung Pay at Sonic:

Does Sonic take any other mobile payments like Apple Pay or Google Pay?

No. Like Samsung Pay, there is no evidence currently that Sonic accepts Apple Pay, Google Pay, or any other third-party mobile wallets. The chain only takes physical credit/debit cards and cash.

Can I use Samsung Pay at the Sonic app or website?

Unfortunately no. Samsung Pay is not integrated as a payment option online or in Sonic’s mobile ordering app. You can only use cards like Visa and Mastercard for those remote orders.

Does this mean no NFC payments at Sonic?

Correct – with no Samsung Pay or other mobile wallets, Sonic also does not accept contactless “tap to pay” credit cards. All payments must be inserted or swiped. Newer NFC cards must be dipped.

What if my Sonic location just got new payment terminals?

Even with newer touchscreen POS systems or NFC-capable readers, Samsung Pay is unlikely to work unless Sonic corporate has launched an official integration. The tech alone doesn’t guarantee acceptance.

Who can I talk to about Samsung Pay not being accepted?

You can speak to a manager at your local Sonic about why Samsung Pay is not supported. To advocate for adoption of Samsung Pay chainwide, you would need to contact Sonic corporate and request they add it as an approved payment type.


Based on publicly available information direct from Sonic, reports from Samsung Pay users, and analysis of the chain’s payment ecosystem, Sonic Drive-In does not currently accept Samsung Pay at any location. This is likely due to a combination of costs, limited demand from the drive-in model, and the quick-service industry slowly adopting mobile wallets so far.

However, as contactless payments become more popular and consumer expectations shift, Sonic has incentives to integrate Samsung Pay and other mobile options for greater speed, convenience, and flexibility. We expect to eventually see support, but Sonic has provided no timeline indications. For now, you’ll need to stick to traditional credit cards, cash, or gift cards when visiting a Sonic drive-in. We’ll update this guide when any official Samsung Pay acceptance announcement is made by Sonic.

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