Samsung unveiled its new mobile payment platform Samsung Pay, with plans to launch first in Korea on Aug. 20 and in the United States on Sept. 28. Samsung Pay will work anywhere a card does.
The platform was announced at an event in New York City along with Samsung's new mobile devices, the Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note5. Samsung Pay will be preloaded on the devices and a free software update will be available to enable mobile payments on some pre-existing devices.
"With the launches... we will open a new era of mobile payment. This is Samsung's brave step forward to enhance our mobile experience," said JK Shin, CEO and head of the IT and mobile communications division at Samsung Electronics. "It is easy, safe, and most importantly, available virtually anywhere you can swipe a card, in most cases without new costs for merchants, from day one."
Samsung Pay uses tokenization, Samsung KNOX and fingerprint authentication for secure payments, and works with most existing POS terminals, including NFC-enabled and magnetic secure transmission units.
In short, users can scan, swipe or use their fingerprint to pay. A shopper simply swipes up on the home screen and taps the credit card that pops up. Once unlocked, the user pays with NFC or holds the phone near the magnetic swipe to authenticate the charge, according to The Verge. The program works even when the phone is turned off.
"The future of mobile payments has arrived," said InJong Rhee, exec-VP of Samsung Electronics, global head of Samsung Pay. "We are partnering with card networks, issuers and acquirers, and Samsung Pay will also be the first to support contactless payment for store-branded credit cards. The list of partners will only grow."
Samsung said it is working with payment providers American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa as well as several large banks including Bank of America, Chase and U.S. Bank. Financial partners including First Data, Synchrony Financial and TSYS to extend Samsung Pay to the U.S.
Samsung acquired LoopPay in February, a technology that has helped enable its new platform. And Samsung Pay promises to offer an ease of use and universal acceptance, features that are missing from other existing and competing mobile payment platforms such as the Merchant Customer Exchange's (MCX) CurrentC, a competing platform developed by a consortium of retailers backed by Walmart.
After three years in development, CurrentC is finally beginning in-store tests in Columbus, Ohio.
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