Can Samsung Pay edge in on Apple’s lead in the mobile wallet war?

14 Aug 201517 Shares

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Samsung has revealed that its Samsung Pay mobile wallet service, which will compete with Apple Pay, will launch in Korea on 20 August and in the US on 28 September.

Samsung last night launched the new Galaxy S6 Edge+ 5.7-inch phablet and an innovative Note 5 that allows you to scribble notes on the display without unlocking the device

Along with a slew of new devices, Samsung revealed the dates for its new mobile wallet service, Samsung Pay.

As well as launching in Korea on 20 August and the US on 28 September, Samsung said it has plans to roll out the service in the UK, Spain and China, but gave no specific dates.

“With the launches of these exciting new smartphones, we will open a new era of mobile payment,” said JK Shin, CEO and head of IT and mobile communications at Samsung.

“This is Samsung’s brave step forward to enhance our mobile experience. It is easy, safe and, most importantly, available virtually anywhere you can swipe a card, in most cases without new costs for merchants, from day one.”

The near future of the mobile wallet

Samsung Pay will be preloaded on select Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note 5 devices and a free software upgrade will be rolled out beginning mid-August, to enable Samsung Pay on Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge devices in the US and Korea.

Select US users of Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+ and Note 5 will be able to participate in a beta trial from 25 August ahead of the 28 September launch.

Samsung Pay uses tokenisation, Samsung KNOX and fingerprint authentication to provide secure payments and reduce the security risks inherent to plastic cards.

With Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) and Near Field Communication (NFC) technologies, Samsung Pay works with most existing point-of-sale (POS) terminals.

‘We are partnering with card networks, issuers and acquirers, and Samsung Pay will also be the first to support contactless payment for store-branded credit cards. The list of partners will only grow’
– INJONG RHEE

Samsung will be taking on Apple, whose Apple Pay service is already active in the US and recently became available in the UK.

Samsung may have its work cut out for it in terms of Apple’s first mover advantage but it is still such early days in the history of mobile wallet technology that really it is anybody’s game in the long run.

The wording of Samsung’s announcement is quite interesting in that it anticipates working with bank and card providers to deliver the service, suggesting not all deals have been locked down.

The Korean tech giant said it “anticipates” working with payment networks that include American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa, major banks including Bank of America, Chase and U.S. Bank, and key financial partners including First Data, Synchrony Financial and TSYS.

It also “anticipates” working with all major Korean card companies, including: Samsung Card; Shinhan Card; KB Kookmin Card; Hyundai Card; Lotte Card0; NH Nonghyup Card; BC Card; Hana Card, Woori Card and Citi Card.

“The future of mobile payments has arrived,” said InJong Rhee, executive VP of Samsung Electronics and global head of Samsung Pay.

“We are partnering with card networks, issuers and acquirers, and Samsung Pay will also be the first to support contactless payment for store-branded credit cards. The list of partners will only grow.”

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com