Samsung Pay: Looking for Users Now, Profits Later

AH 2015 Sasmung Pay LOGO 64


Samsung is starting to advertise its long awaited Samsung Pay, which is slated to start in the US later this month with beta testing already started …it truly is Samsung’s ‘Next Big Thing.’  The mobile payment market, according to researcher IDC believes that mobile payments will be worth $1 trillion by 2017…so it really is ‘BIG.’  In South Korea, where Samsung Pay has already launched, it is way ahead of Samsung’s internal expectations by averaging 25,000 new users and more than $620,000 in transactions per day!

Samsung is trying to make up for its slow smartphone sales – Apple’s large displays are selling very well in the US, and Huawei and Xiaomi are beating them out in China and India.  Research company Gartner, says that global sales of Samsung’s market share of smartphones fell 21.9-percent in April-June…still better than the 26.2-percent drop during the same time last year.

Samsung Pay will allow users to pay at retail establishments without pulling out a credit card, instead you will pull out your Samsung smartphone – Galaxy S6 models and forward – already loaded with your credit card information, and place it next to the card reader on the retailer’s point-of-sale (POS) terminal.  Right now, Samsung is targeting their flagship devices for the service, but will eventually include lower priced models.  Samsung Executive Vice President Rhee In-jong said in an interview, “The way to protect pricing power, even for low-end or mid-range phones, is to offer a service that users can’t get elsewhere.”

Samsung is looking for something to differentiate them from other smartphones, trying to lure potential customers because of its unique features.  Apple Pay is already out and functioning, however, merchants are required to purchase extra hardware in order to accept Apple Pay transactions.  While Google is preparing to launch Android Pay, the Samsung Pay offers more ways to pay and allows you to use your fingerprint sensor to okay a payment – something that will not be available with Android Pay until Marshmallow is released and pushed out to the devices.  IDC analyst Shiv Putcha said, “Samsung Pay is a necessary step in the right direction but it doesn’t guarantee increased sales of smartphones for the company”

Samsung has a lot invested in Samsung Pay – they spent $230 million for LoopPay alone, but it was a wise investment giving Samsung Pay its wider coverage at retailers, who do not have to buy any special equipment and it protects your credit card number by paying with a randomly generated ‘token.’  Brokerage firm SK Securities believes it is possible Samsung Pay is the reason behind the increase in Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ sales over Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge sales last year.  The new Samsung Gear 2 smartwatches will also be Samsung Pay capable.  The service will expand to China, and countries in Europe and Latin America – however, Verizon still has not made its decision on allowing it on their devices, as they continue to evaluate the service.