Samsung Pay has expanded to four additional markets with official launches in Sweden and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and early access launches in Hong Kong and Switzerland. The service has also been made available on Samsung’s Gear S3 smartwatch in Russia, Sweden and the UAE in addition to its availability on the Gear S3 in the US, Singapore and Australia.
The service is also integrating loyalty and membership cards for its launch in Sweden and the UAE, following the initial introduction of the membership and loyalty feature that was first rolled out across the US in May 2016.
With the additional launches, Samsung Pay is now fully available in 14 markets globally including South Korea, the US, China, Spain, Singapore, Australia, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Russia, Thailand, Malaysia and India, with an expected launch in the UK and Ireland this summer.
“Less than two years ago, Samsung Pay came to life in Korea with a simple mission — to empower customers with mobile payments that are simple, secure and available almost anywhere,” says Thomas Ko, VP and global general manager of Samsung Pay.
“Today, Samsung Pay is so much more. Our launches in different parts of the world demonstrate governments’ and consumers’ changing attitudes towards progressing to a cashless society. It is through the interest and support of our partners that we are able to answer their needs by offering Samsung Pay in these markets.”
Samsung Pay launched in beta in Sweden last month and is currently supported by Mastercard, Mastercard SAS, Visa, Eurocard, and banks Nordea, SEB, Handelsbanken and Ticket Rikskuponger, with ICA Banken, Re:member and Swedbank joining “shortly”.
The mobile payment service was launched through an early access program in the UAE earlier this month with support from Mastercard and Visa and a number of banks including Mashreq Bank, ADCB, Rakbank, Emirates NBD, Standard Chartered, HSBC and NBAD, ADIB and Network International Payment Solutions.
In Hong Kong, Samsung Pay is currently supported by Mastercard, Visa, American Express and banks including Citi, Dahsing Bank and Standard Chartered, with support from Bank of China and DBS “coming soon”.
In Switzerland, the service has signed up Cornercard, Swiss Bankers Prepaid Services, Bonus Card as well as Visa and Mastercard.
“With the availability of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, users will be able to exclusively take advantage of several new features for an enhanced experience with Samsung Pay,” Samsung says. “In addition to the existing authentication methods, Galaxy S8/S8 Plus users can make use of iris scanning as a new form of biometric authentication to access Samsung Pay, enabling a secure yet more convenient way to pay.
“Beginning in April, Samsung Pay is newly supported on the Gear S3 in Russia, Sweden and the UAE, in addition to the US, Singapore and Australia, enabling an even more convenient way for users to pay with their smartwatches. Details on additional Gear S3 support elsewhere will be available soon.”
“In Switzerland, pre-paid cards will also be supported, allowing users to pay from their preferred cards outside of the normal credit and debit options,” Samsung adds. “Value-added services continue to be a critical differentiator for Samsung Pay in the mobile payments market — more custom services for users around the world will be made available in respective markets shortly.”
“We are incredibly proud of our rapid expansion and growth in such a short period of time and look forward to bringing the most comprehensive digital wallet to all or users around the world,” adds Ko.
„Though Libra has met with fierce resistance from central banks and supervisory authorities and might never see the light of day, in many other cases tech firms (both start-ups and established big players) have successfully captured bits and pieces of universal banks’ traditional value chain. This trend may only intensify in the coming years. In this environment, European banks remain squeezed.”