Samsung Pay is Samsung’s take on a wireless payment system typically based around a smartphone. In the case of Samsung Pay, the system is not without a number of compromises: customers must have a Samsung smartphone to use Samsung Pay and it is only supported in a few countries. However, not only do customers need a Samsung smartphone, but it needs to be a flagship device. Whilst Samsung’s flagship models are desirable smartphones, and they currently offer four flagship-grade handsets (the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and Galaxy Note 5) they are also very expensive and large: many customers do not want to spend so much on a smartphone, or want something so large in their pocket or handbag. Fortunately, Samsung’s plans for Samsung Pay include rolling support out across the range and the business has recently announced that the new Samsung Galaxy A-series will be gaining support for Samsung Pay in 2016.
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Unfortunately, Samsung’s plans for the A-series gaining support for Samsung Pay are somewhat hobbled: only two of the three newly announced A-series devices will be supported, with Samsung putting a clear line between the 4.7-inch A3 and the larger 5.2-inch A5 and 5.5-inch A7. Only the A5 and A7 will support Samsung Pay; the A3 is being left out in the cold. We’ve seen a similar differentiation between the A3, A5 and A7 with the camera technology as the larger two benefit from optical image stabilization, but the A3 does not. For a business that has repeatedly stated that it is going to rationalise its model line up, supporting the complete A-series range could have been a great way to streamline product families and simplify the choice for customers. Instead, customers wanting a less-expensive-than-flagship device but with Samsung Pay cannot pick the Galaxy A3, and must instead opt for at least the A5.
As for Samsung Pay, the business is expanding the regions of the world where this is supported and it will soon be available in China, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom. Samsung have been training more staff in order to support Samsung Pay and hopefully, we will see support for a wider range of devices both old and new as we head into 2016.