Samsung Pay’s Launch in Korea Drives Brisk Business (Sept. 1, 2015)
Samsung Pay is off to a brisk start in Korea after its launch there Aug. 20, about five weeks ahead of the mobile payment service’s pending debut in the U.S. on Sept. 28, but it’s nowhere near Apple Pay levels, which hit 1 million registered cards in the first 72 hours. Consumers in Korea registered more than 10,000 debit and credit cards with the Samsung Pay on the day it launched, which leaped to 80,000 cards over the next four days, according to reports. Samsung Pay is compatible with newer Samsung handsets, including the Galaxy Note 5, S6, S6 edge and edge+ smartphones, and Androidauthority.com reports that more than 10,000 Samsung handsets were sold in the first four days Samsung Pay was available.
Unlike other m-payments services that require NFC capabilities within the handset and the payment terminal, Samsung Pay’s patented MST technology enables contactless payments using any compatible handset at any payment terminal, whether or not it’s NFC-enabled. Samsung acquired the MST technology earlier this year when it bought LoopPay. Analysts say Samsung Pay’s universal access could give it at least a short-term market advantage over other m-payment services—including Apple Pay—that are hobbled by the fact that so far, less than 25 percent of all payment terminals are NFC-enabled in the U.S. But Samsung will need Verizon on board to capitalize on its broad acceptance in the U.S. market. The wireless carrier hasn’t confirmed support of Samsung Pay yet.
Competition in m-payments is heating up this fall as Android Pay and Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) reportedly are readying their own rollouts. Android’s launch reportedly is imminent, though no date has been announced. MCX this week said CurrentC will launch a pilot in Columbus, Ohio, “in the coming weeks.”