At the previous two Unpacked events (Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 announcements), Samsung has been talking about Samsung Pay. And they have been testing it recently in South Korea, their home country. Basically it's their answer to Apple Pay. While Apple Pay was announced last year, with a number of partners. It's also using NFC, similar to Google Wallet and Android Pay that was announced at Google I/O. However, where Samsung is different is in the way that payments are sent.
You might remember that Samsung bought a company named LoopPay not too long ago. Samsung is using LoopPay to do their mobile wallet service. The reason why this is a big deal, is because merchants don't need to update their terminals to have NFC capabilities. Which is going to be huge, in getting merchants to adopt Samsung Pay, as there's no overhead involved. And that's where it's going to take some time for Apple Pay to go global.
Samsung is banking on their method of Samsung Pay, and looking to make it global as quickly as possible. Which will be much easier for them. They already have a number of merchants on their list of partners. And the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note 5 all have the ability to use Samsung Pay. Samsung announced last week at their event in New York City, that Samsung Pay will be available on August 20th. However it's limited to South Korea for now. It'll launch in the US and a few other countries on September 28th.
Currently, Contactless payments are still a bit of a geeky thing. But with Samsung, Apple and Google all doing their own contactless payments it could catch on a lot quicker than we think. With three of the biggest tech companies working on it, it likely won't take too long. Mobile payments are expected to skyrocket in the next few years, and it's not hard to see why. Imagine going on vacation and not needing to bring your wallet. Just use your phone to buy dinner, and use the fingerprint scanner to authenticate the purchase. Pretty neat.