Showcasing two new smartphones, the Samsung S6 Edge+ and Samsung Note5, the Korean electronics maker also revealed that their Samsung Pay offering its set to launch this week. Scheduled to go live in their home country of Korea on August 20th, the mobile payment system will hit the US on September 28th, with further launches in the UK, Spain, and China also being planned.
Samsung Pay vs everyone else
Already arriving to the US are Apple Pay and Android Pay. Controlling nearly all of the smartphone market with their iOS and Android mobile operating systems, Apple and Google have embedded their payment apps within their software. For their part, Apple has also added hardware features on their phones such as fingerprint verification to complement their payment software.
With those products already out, and Android Pay available for many Samsung phones that utilize near field communications (NFC) technology, Samsung is entering what is quickly becoming a crowded market. In this regard, Samsung Pay is aiming to distinguish itself by providing mobile payment features not yet available to Android phones or to Apple.
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Like Apple Pay and Android Pay, Samsung Pay allows users to connect credit and bank cards for transactions from their phones at offline merchants. The system also uses fingerprint verification and digital tokenization to hide credit card data from merchants.
Samsung Pay is getting equipped with the ability to work with standard card readers
However, unlike Apple Pay and Android Pay, which are limited to merchants that offer NFC enabled point of service (POS) payment terminals, Samsung Pay is getting equipped with the ability to work with standard card readers. This feature is based on technology that Samsung acquired in their February purchase of LoopPay. With it, merchants that connect to Samsung Pay system, even those using non-NFC enabled card readers will be able to accept Samsung Pay transactions.
For both end-user and merchants, the availability on non-NFC reader payments is an added value that distinguishes it away from rivals and could potentially make it into a ‘leave your wallet at home’ system. However, Samsung still has to convince retailers that there will be enough Samsung Pay demand from customers to enable the payment system as it is currently limited to Galaxy S6, the Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and Galaxy Note5 users.
At their presentation last week, Samsung announced early US financial partners for Samsung Pay. Included are US Bank, Bank of America, and Chase as well as credit card networks Mastercard, Visa, Discover and American Express, with more banks and a list of major retailers expected to be revealed closer to the official launch in the US in September.