Just a few days after celebrating its very first anniversary, Samsung Pay has launched in Russia, which means that the company's mobile payment app is now available in nine countries worldwide. Unlike its previous debuts, Samsung Pay made its way to Russia in a rather quiet manner as it currently doesn't support too many banks. Namely, Russian users can currently connect the Android app to cards from six banks: Russian Standard Bank, VTB24, Alfa-Bank Banking Group, MTS Bank, Yandex, and Raiffeisen Bank. It's worth noting that Samsung already stated this support will be expanded in the future but it's anyone's guess when that might actually happen. The launch was conducted in cooperation with the Russian mobile operator MTS as well as its sister bank of the same name.
For the uninitiated, Samsung Pay is a contactless payment solution supported by Samsung devices. It's based on the so-called magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology which doesn't require NFC technology. It's a neat solution and one which largely benefits from the technology not having to require any infrastructure that doesn't already exist in regular stores and other places that sell goods and services and of course, accept credit cards. Because of that, the app has reportedly been very well received by consumers. Although, one of the aspects which is likely holding its adoption back a little, is that Samsung Pay does currently only support the latest Galaxy flagships so you'll need a phone that isn't older than the original Galaxy S6 in order to use the app. The Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch did recently see its support being added with its own version of Samsung Pay, but that one won't work without an NFC terminal. Once you have a supported device in your possession, you can sign up for Samsung Pay with a Samsung account and a valid payment card. Each payment is authorized with a registered fingerprint or a Samsung Pay PIN.
Since August of 2015, Samsung Pay made its way to the US, South Korea, China, Spain, Australia, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Singapore. After its Russian debut, Samsung's mobile payment solution is also expected to launch in the United Kingdom, Canada, Malaysia, Thailand, and Hong Kong by the end of the year.