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Samsung Wallet to Go International, Still no NFC Payment System

September 30, 2013 - Written By Nick Sutrich

Samsung has been trying to take over the mobile industry for years now, and the South Korean tech giant is making its next move towards that dominance.  SamMobile has found a screenshot for an upcoming update for the Samsung Wallet app that shows an international plane ticket being used in an example, giving possible proof that the app will be making a worldwide debut before the end of this year.  Samsung, who launched their Wallet app in Korea in May of this year, has been slowly migrating the app to more markets in order to reach more users.  Samsung put the app on the Google Play Store in August, but kept it restricted to those with a Galaxy S III, S4, Note or Note II, and on top of that you’ve got to sign in with a Samsung account in order to even use the service.  This limits the apps possible audience quite a bit, and is rather unfortunate for the whole mobile payment industry in terms of trying to move forward with a more de facto standard.  Samsung Wallet allows you to organize your loyalty cards and receive and use coupons digitally with your phone.  While there is currently no way to pay with NFC via the app, it does have an NFC permission listed in the Google Play Store, which means this is likely to come in the future.

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If you have been paying attention to the whole mobile payment game lately, you’ll remember that Google Wallet just got a major update the other week to include similar coupon and loyalty card organization systems.  Google Wallet used to be Google’s mobile payment service that worked mostly just on GSM Unlocked Nexus devices sold through the Play Store, and allowed you to pay using NFC technology at participating retailers like McDonald’s and others around the nation.  While the previous update brought loyalty card and coupon support to Google Wallet, it also expanded the availability on any device that has access to the Play Store.  Unfortunately though, unless you have a supported device and network carrier, NFC payments weren’t allowed to be used.  Much like Samsung’s app this limits the featureset quite a bit, and doesn’t provide for mobile payments on most phones and carriers.  Still it looks like Samsung may have the leg up in terms of partnerships with major US retailers, and are going to continue with their rollout of integrating with rewards systems around the country.  Look for an official announcement after their developer conferences either in October or November.  If you’ve got a Samsung device listed above, you can give Samsung Wallet a try at the Play Store link below: