Samsung Pay will launch in South Korea on 20 August and in the US on 28 September, with no UK debut yet confirmed.
Owners of a Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge will receive a software upgrade when Samsung Pay goes live, while the newly announced S6 Edge+ and Note 5 will come pre-loaded with support. US users are being invited to participate in a beta of the service from 25 August – one month before launch.
The Korean manufacturer says plans are in the works for the UK, China and Spain “soon”.
The company’s answer to Apple Pay has been trialled in Korea since last month and claims the combination of Near Field Communication (NFC), the de facto standard for most mobile payments, and Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology mean it will be accepted in more locations in some markets.
However analysts believe Samsung’s late arrival compared to Apple Pay and Google Wallet mean it has some catching up to do.
“Unlike Apple which has accumulated 800 million payment card accounts associated with iTunes, Samsung lacks this critical element for its payment service to quickly gain traction,” said Dan Gleeson, senior analyst at HIS.
“Samsung Pay’s advantage lies in its MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technology which works with existing magnetic readers used for swiping cards. It claims to be accepted by over 10 million locations in the US, compared to Apple Pay’s 1 million locations. However, as U.S. POS terminals are migrating to EMV chip-and-pin by October 2015, the advantage of MST will gradually disappear and Samsung needs to offer better solutions to compete with all other payment services using NFC (Near Field Communication) terminals.”
All clued up on mobile payments? Try our quiz!