By partnering its domestic South Korean based: Samsung Cards, KB Cards, Hana Cards and Lotte Cards with MasterCard, Visa, UnionPay and JCB, Samsung’s strategy for a fully fledged global Samsung Pay acceptance has begun and will be implemented through this networked partnership. This initial move will allow South Koreans with Samsung mobile phones to use Samsung Pay for payments at a variety of merchants in the US and China and then it is expected that additional regions will be added thereafter.
With the overwhelming variety of mobile payment options now flooding the market including everything from the contactless NFC enabled Barclay Cards to the more refined mobile applications of Alipay, WeChat Pay and Apple Pay, each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Samsung Pay is certainly one of the most versatile payment methods due to its additional Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology, which allows Samsung Pay users to make purchases at POS terminals which have only have a magnetic strip reader – quite an achievement. MST technology is accepted at almost all POS terminals which makes it highly versatile for the user. Furthermore, currently only Samsung mobiles use Samsung Pay, but in the future other devices could potentially use the system - as stated by Injong Rhee, Samsung EVP.
By the end of 2016, in addition to US and China, Samsung Pay expects to expand into Australia, Brazil and Singapore which have high Samsung mobile phone penetration and thus would be an opportunity for Samsung Pay to capitalize on their existing customer base in these markets. This will put Samsung Pay one step closer to ensuring users across the globe from every nation can use the service without running into acceptance issues.
Samsung Pay acceptance in Korea was - as you might expect - high. The services quickly became a highly popular payment system synonymous to that of Alipay and WeChat Pay in China. However, only time will tell which payment platforms will be the most successful across all global regions.