Samsung Pay Launching Sept. 28 in U.S., Reaching ‘Nearly Everywhere’ (Aug. 13, 2015)
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. today announced that Samsung Pay will launch next week in Korea and on Sept. 28 will get in the m-wallet ring with Apple Pay in the U.S., enabling consumers with the latest generation of Samsung’s handsets to tap their devices and pay contactlessly “nearly everywhere” cards are accepted, including NFC-ready locations and those that are not yet NFC-ready, the company said.
Samsung Pay incorporates magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology, acquired earlier this year from LoopPay, which converts transactions at non-NFC terminals into contactless transactions. Samsung Pay uses tokenization and fingerprint authentication for security; users may load cards to the Samsung Pay feature embedded in the phone, then swipe up and scan their fingerprints to open the app and pay at any POS terminal, Samsung said.
Because less than 20 percent of all U.S. terminals have been upgraded to handle contactless NFC payments, Samsung Pay will have broader reach at its launch than Apple Pay, observers say. This feature could provide a “pivotal advantage” for Samsung Pay in 2015, but not for long, says Dennis Jones, CEO of U.K.-based Judo Payments, which provides m-payments technology to Apple Inc. and other companies in the field. Merchants in all markets steadily are upgrading their payment terminals to NFC to accept contactless payments, Jones notes. “Nonetheless, today’s announcement is a big step in the m-payments revolution,” he tells Paybefore.
Samsung Pay has support from many of the same payments industry participants backing Apple Pay and the forthcoming Android Pay. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Financial Services and several major issuers have partnered to support Samsung Pay, along with Bank of America, U.S. Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co. First Data Corp. and TSYS also are partners, as is Synchrony Financial, an issuer of private-label credit cards for retailers including Chevron and BP.
Samsung Pay “instantly on day one,” will be accepted almost anywhere consumers pay, said Jim McCarthy, Visa’s executive vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships.
The new Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note5 Samsung unveiled today at an event in New York will come preloaded with Samsung Pay. The company will provide a free software upgrade next week enabling Samsung Pay on existing S6 and S6 edge devices in the U.S. and Korea. Samsung aims to roll out the m-wallet next in the U.K., Spain and China, though it provided no dates.