Samsung just kicked off a limited trial of the service in its home market, but the full release is only expected this fall.
With Apple Pay fully working in the US and now expanding to Europe, Samsung risks falling behind in a high-stake race that also includes Google’s Wallet, which is set to be replaced by Android Pay later this year.
Part of Samsung’s problem is consumers generally don’t know what to expect from Samsung Pay, and if they do, they may not be convinced that the service is worth waiting for. While Samsung has explained how Pay works in a blog post from March, there’s nothing like an actual hands-on demo to drive the point home.
The video below, courtesy of Times of India, shows exactly what steps paying with Samsung Pay will entail. The good news is paying with your Galaxy phone seems as straightforward as using a card. You just swipe up from the home button to bring up the stored cards, pick the preferred card, authenticate by touching the fingerprint scanner embedded in the home button, and put the phone against the magnetic card reader or NFC module.
Compatibility with NFC and classic magnetic card stripe readers is what Samsung hopes will make Samsung Pay a hit. Unlike Apple Pay or Google Wallet, which require NFC, Samsung Pay will work with just about any old card reader. That means Samsung Pay will have a wide base of adoption among retailers from day one, circumventing the chicken-or-egg problem that holds back the adoption of NFC.
Samsung paid $250 million to acquire LoopPay, the US-based company that developed the technology allowing the Galaxy S6 to work with magnetic stripe readers. But the potential returns of this investment are staggering, provided Samsung manages to sign up enough users.
Samsung is expected to launch in fall in South Korea and the United States, with more countries to follow. With Samsung rumored to throw a big launch event for the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge+ in mid-August, there’s a solid chance we’ll hear an official announcement at that point.
Do you see yourself using Samsung Pay over the traditional cards? Would you consider buying a Samsung device just for this feature?