Samsung Pay was announced quite some time ago and now, it’s rolling out to compatible devices all over the world. Of course, it’s been a big success in South Korea, Samsung’s home turf, but here in the US it’ll be available on devices on Verizon and other major networks, with Samsung Pay reaching around 70% coverage of the US’ most used banks. ZDNet recently got the chance to talk with Samsung’s Executive Vice President and Head of Enterprise Business at Samsung Mobile, Injong Rhee. The article is almost as lengthy as Rhee’s formal title, but there’s some good value in what he has to say, including what could have been and where Samsung Pay is heading next.
Despite running on Google’s Android platform, Samsung have used their own hardware to leverage a number of exclusives in the past, such as their Gear line of smartwatches. Rhee said that “from the beginning, we’ve considered providing Samsung Pay to our partners. But right now global expansion is happening so quickly for Samsung Pay that we are focusing all our energy on deployment.” This is understandable, but one hurdle for others adopting Samsung Pay entirely might be MST, or Magnetic Secure Transmission, a technology that Samsung acquired when they bought LoopPay. The inclusion of MST allows devices that use Samsung Pay to communicate with older terminals, just as a mag strip on a credit or debit card would. The Gear S2 does not support this, and only has NFC for payments, limiting the amount of terminals it can be used with.
As for the future of Samsung Pay, a big update is coming later this month to include gift cards and Rhee says that there’s big potential for the platform overall. Rhee goes on to say that Samsung Pay could become a platform for more than just payments alone, such as recommendations of where to eat and so on. As of right now however, Rhee says the platform is off to a good start and things will only get better over time, looking ahead to a strong 2016 Samsung Pay will take on more partners and become a larger player overall.