It was a long time coming, but mobile payments are finally growing and hitting their stride after initially seeing their introduction to the US late last year. Since its first launch in August 2015, Samsung Pay has seen a massive level of uptake and in spite of the service only being available on Samsung's high-end smartphones. Samsung Pay has already started to include reward and loyalty cards – however, Samsung is preparing to launch their own rewards program that will allow you to earn or redeem points each time you use Samsung Pay to pay for a purchase. According to the information coming through, a source has been noted stating that the application process at the local patent office is already done, and the membership program should help Samsung lure new users and sell more Samsung smartphones.
As the saturation of smartphones continues to grow, Samsung keeps trying to set themselves apart from other mobile payment systems, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay. Samsung Pay will be available on their new smartwatches – expanding the opportunities further. Samsung wants potential smartphone buyers to see the advantages of buying a Samsung device to use for their mobile payments. They already have something the other two mobile payment options do not – MST support that allows you to make a purchase just about anywhere there is an old card-swiping machine. This Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) emulates the signal from a debit or credit card strip so the merchant’s reader can pick it up – it thinks a card was swiped through the reader, when in reality, it was an electronic signal. What is also nice is that your credit card information is never passed on to the reader – just a randomly generated token – keeping your card numbers secure from potential hackers.
A couple of other items of note – Samsung’s vice chairman Lee Jae-yong seems to be looking to further expand Samsung Pay’s footprint as he is reported to have been meeting with US and China bank executives. While in terms of expanding the actual availability, it seems Samsung is said to have recently filed a patent for ‘Samsung Pay Mini’, with the idea being that this is a version which can be used on other non-flagship Android smartphones. Which is exactly what Samsung needs to do if they want to expand Samsung Pay around the globe by giving other Android phones the capability to make mobile payments via Samsung Pay. Most likely, the ‘Mini’ version will only allow the use of the NFC chip like Android Pay and Apple Pay – but it is better than nothing.