The Samsung faithful in the UK have a reason to get excited today, because at long last, Samsung Pay has finally arrived. It’s been a long time coming, especially considering that Samsung Pay has been available in both South Korea and the US since September 2015. Still, better late than never, as they say.
In Samsung’s case, though, “late” may as well be the same thing as “never.” Samsung Pay is launching in a market where Apple Pay and Android Pay have already existed for a while. In the case of Apple users, Samsung Pay was probably never going to get them to defect, but the lead Android Pay has over Samsung’s own payment solution could prove to be problematic.
Samsung does have something of an advantage going into this launch, however. As The Guardian points out, Samsung has worked out an agreement with Travel for London that allows users to designate a card in their Samsung Pay wallet as their “travel card.” This means that Samsung Pay users can pay for their TfL transportation without having to turn on the screen or select a card.
Android Pay, on the other hand, requires that the device display be turned on to process a payment, while Apple Pay requires user authentication of the charge. It may not seem like this is a huge advantage for Samsung Pay in the grand scheme, but anything that cuts down on queue times may be worth it to prospective users.
The question is whether or not this will be enough. In the US, Samsung Pay does has the advantage of working with terminals that only accept magnetic stripe payments, but that won’t be much of a marquee feature in a country that adopted chip and PIN more than a decade ago. We’ll just have to see what kind of promotions Samsung runs to tempt current mobile payments users into jumping ship.
Samsung Pay launches today in the UK with support for Visas and Mastercards from Nationwide, MBNA, and Santander. Samsung says that support for American Express cards will be coming online shortly, as will support for cards from M&S bank, First Direct, and HSBC. Though it sounds like this rollout is limited to the Galaxy S series of phones, we can expect to see support for A-series devices and Gear smartwatches to follow soon as well.
What do you think? Are you going to switch to Samsung Pay or will you be sticking with Android Pay? Head down to the comment section and let us know!
SOURCE: The Guardian