Since Samsung announced their mobile payment service, Samsung Pay earlier this year. They’ve been working hard to increase adoption and make it available in more and more places. It’s been available here in the US for a few months, after being tested in South Korea for a bit before that. Samsung Pay is a bit unique, when compared to Android Pay and Apple Pay. Not only because it’s only available on Samsung smartphones, but also because it doesn’t need NFC to work. It uses MST or Magnetic Secure Transfer, which is thanks to them buying LoopPay. What this means is that, merchants that don’t have tap and pay terminals, Samsung Pay can still be accepted. Unlike its competitors, Android Pay and Apple Pay.
Now, Samsung is looking to expand Samsung Pay on into China. With the launch set to take place in the first quarter of 2016. Samsung has partnered with China UnionPay, which is one of the biggest card issuers in China. When Samsung Pay launches in China, users will be able to add their credit and debit cards into Samsung Pay and use their smartphone to pay for items. Samsung Pay will be accepted at the majority of the POS terminals in China, and this includes Quick Pass-enabled NFC terminals. Additionally, Samsung is working with China UnionPay in order to make sure that transactions are secured with triple-layered protection. This includes using fingerprint authentication, tokenization as well as Samsung’s KNOX. Samsung also notes that this follows China’s national mobile payment and financial industry standards. Additionally, it will be tested and certified by China’s regulators before official rollout in 2016.
Although Samsung Pay is making its way into China, it won’t do so without some competition. Apple recently announced that Apple Pay is coming to China in early 2016 as well. While there’s still no Android Pay in China – largely due to Google’s services being banned in the country – at least Android is being represented in the mobile payments market, even if its just on a handful of devices from Samsung. Many of the home-grown manufacturers there have also been making strides in mobile payments, including Xiaomi. So there’s some stiff competition awaiting Samsung in China.