Samsung’s mobile business CEO JK Shin talks about all the features of the company’s Galaxy Edge smartphone during its Galaxy Unpacked 2015 event in New York City. Sarah Tew/CNET
Samsung announced Thursday that its new mobile payment system, Samsung Pay, will be available in Korea on August 20 and in the US on September 28.
The South Korean smartphone maker first unveiled Samsung Pay in March, touting it as a way for users to pay for goods and services by waving their smartphone near the register instead of swiping a credit card. That announcement came alongside the unveiling of two new smartphones: the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, which will be the first to use the feature.
“With the launches of these exciting new smartphones, we will open a new era of mobile payment,” said Samsung’s mobile business CEO JK Shin, speaking at the company’s Galaxy Unpacked event in New York City. “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.”
Samsung is just the latest major technology player to jump into mobile payments, which has languished for years with trials and limited deployments before Apple injected energy and raised the consumer awareness with its Apple Pay feature, found on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. For the likes of Apple and Samsung, the hope is that the addition of yet another feature will further build customer loyalty at a time when competition for smartphone customers is fierce.
Samsung believes it has an advantage with its system because its system, which it obtained through the purchase of LoopPay earlier this year, allows the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge to work with many more merchants and stores. Samsung Pay will use a near-field communication, or NFC, chip to talk with compatible registers. But it also uses a LoopPay technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission that works by holding the phone near a traditional card swipe reader, essentially making it backward compatible for nearly all payment terminals.
By comparison, Apple Pay also employs a NFC chip into its smartphone. The dilemma is that there are still few registers that have the technology, which limits adoption and usage.
After Samsung Pay launches in Korea and the US, the smartphone maker plans to then roll the service out in the UK, Spain and China.