Samsung rolled out their own mobile payment service, Samsung Pay, to compete with Google’s native Android Pay and the semi-ubiquitous Apple Pay. Samsung Pay was, for all intents and purposes, a smash hit. This was due in part to the fact that unlike Android Pay and Apple Pay, it could be used anywhere a credit or debit card could be used, since it utilized a workaround to enable MST, or magnetic secure transmission. Android Pay and Apple Pay, do, however, support in-app shopping. This means that users can order an Uber cab or buy items on Amazon with just a fingerprint, rather than having to enter in their details for each transaction.
In 2016, Samsung plans to make Samsung Pay an even more viable competitor by adding a similar functionality, though there was no word on whether it will be a comprehensive in-browser solution or simply in-app shopping like Android Pay and Apple Pay offer. This change will only hit the U.S. at first, with no word as yet on a worldwide release. Samsung also plans to roll Samsung Pay out to a wider range of handsets. As of this writing, only recent Samsung handsets, such as the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and Galaxy Note 5 support Samsung Pay. There are a few outliers, such as upcoming support for the Gear S2 smartwatch, but these are currently the exception to the rule. These two improvements will put them in direct competition with current competitors, as well as old hand PayPal and newbies such as the Visa Checkout service.
Research Director of Global Payments at IDC Financial Insights, Inc, James Wester, chimed in on the issue, saying that “For Samsung, moving online could be a smart move… It will help them build customer habit and they can benefit from that when U.S. consumers transact in stores.” This sentiment could easily prove true in record time as Samsung’s handset sales climb, getting Samsung Pay into the hands of more and more users. With MST capabilities already putting Samsung Pay ahead of the competition in terms of usability and widespread acceptance, if the new online capabilities prove as easy to use or easier than current competitors, Samsung Pay could even rise to dominate the space, those who are indoctrinated into iOS and thus Apple Pay users by default notwithstanding.