Samsung has taken a moment to quietly light a single candle on Samsung Pay‘s birthday cake today. Uncomfortable on its laurels, the company is preparing a major expansion for the virtual wallet platform this month.
Year one saw Samsung Pay grow to facilitating mobile payments for about five million users each month, which puts it on pace with Android Pay and, going by some estimates, that’s ahead of where Apple Pay was as it neared its first birthday about a year ago. Apple Pay, launched in October 2014, had a nearly one-year head start on Android Pay and Samsung Pay.
Along with a solid user base, other year one highlights for Samsung Pay include registering more than 100 million transactions and facilitating more than 2 trillion South Korean won, about $1.78 trillion USD. The platform has also gained the support of more than 440 bank issuers globally. About 25 percent of Samsung Pay transactions in Korea are made online.
And Samsung stresses that Samsung Pay is more than just a platform for tokenizing credit and debit card funds. This “holistic digital wallet” has registered more than four million membership cards in the US and South Korea.
“Our ambition to reach a world without wallets continues to draw ever closer, and this strong consumer adoption signals a shift in behavior and demonstrates the continued enthusiasm for a safer, smarter and better mobile wallet,” remarked Injong Rhee, CTO and EVP of Software and Services, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics.
Samsug Pay’s biggest edge is its support for both NFC terminal and POS systems that use magnetic strip readers, as Apple Pay and Android Pay don’t currently support the later option. However, the platform is still bounded by Samsung’s ecosystem, and is only available on the company’s premium and mid-tier mobile devices.
While Samsung Pay is believed to be growing faster than Apple Pay, it may need to keep a close eye on its Android Pay cousin. Samsung still has a lock on the distinction of being the biggest vendor of devices by brand, but it’s a wide-world of Android devices out there that are happy being together and not the same.