Samsung Pay appear to be accelerating plans to release the service, Samsung's entry into the wireless payment-via-phone market, around the world. Samsung Pay using existing magnetic strip-based technology and is a competitor to both Android Pay and Apple Pay in what is set to become an important market for device manufacturers, carriers and banks alike. Where Samsung Pay has an advantage over the competition is that it uses existing infrastructure and is accepted in more locations than the competition. Where Samsung Pay is currently limited is the number of devices that support the technology – you'll be needing a flagship Samsung Galaxy device from the Galaxy S6 or later to use it, and one of the major US banks or cards, too. Samsung Pay was originally released in South Korea and the original plan called for it to be released around the world, for example it was launched in North America in September 2015. After a month, Samsung Pay has over 500,000 North American customers with daily transaction volumes of between 20,000 to 25,000 and the value is around the $700,000 point. Samsung's current plans for the worldwide release of Samsung Pay are after releasing the service into North America, it will roll out the service to the United Kingdom, Spain, and China, in this order. Today's news concerns what happens next, where perhaps Samsung are gearing up for a significant push.
The evidence towards this consists of unnamed industry sources citing personnel relocations taking place within Samsung. Samsung traditionally relocates employees on the 1 and 15 of the month and we have heard that on the 18 October, Samsung Electronics transferred many foreign language specialists from its internal divisions into the wireless business division following a 15 October reshuffle. However, the transferred employees were not simply relocated but were first put through four intensive training programs about Samsung Pay at the business headquarters, Seocho. This very much looks like Samsung are working towards a more widespread release of Samsung Pay.
One of Samsung's business moves when working towards releasing Samsung Pay into the North American market was to integrate their system with the existing banking system. This meant that Samsung has formed partnerships with a number of US credit card and banks, such as Bank of America, Citi, MasterCard, VISA, American Express and US Bank. Samsung are in the final stages of arranging a partnership with China's largest payment card business, UnionPay. Negotiations have included Samsung's Vice Chairman meeting both the UnionPay Chairman and the chairman of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to solidify the proposals.