South Korean conglomerate, Samsung, is currently the world's largest manufacturer of Android-powered smartphones thanks to its successful range of Samsung Galaxy devices. The company sells all manner of products and services from premium, luxury kitchen goods, smartphones, tablets and wearable electronic devices, to ships. In addition to selling Android-based smartphones, Samsung Electronics also has a small but growing portfolio of smart services such as Samsung Health and Samsung Cloud. One of these services is Samsung Pay, which is Samsung's take on a smartphone or wearable-mounted mobile payment system. To date, Samsung Pay has only been available on a limited number of Samsung devices, typically the upper mid to flagship grade smartphone.
This exclusivity has hindered how quickly the service has been rolled out across the world – currently, Samsung Pay is available in a limited number of countries around the world but Samsung have forged agreements with over 500 major banks and credit card companies around the world. Samsung Pay has been a limited success – the service was launched in August 2015 with the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus. During the first year since launch, the South Korean market accumulated approximately $1.7 billion worth of transactions. However, yesterday a company official announced that Samsung were to be bundling Samsung Pay into all of its 2017 smartphones, although confusingly the source for the article explains that "The company will pre-install its mobile payment service in all Samsung devices except for some low-end models." This may mean that the Samsung Pay service will be compatible with all 2017 Samsung Galaxy smartphones but may not be preinstalled on all devices.
Earlier in the year, Samsung's president of the mobile business division, Koh Dong-jin, said that the company would be installing fingerprint sensors from mid-range handsets and upwards and added that "We are considering mounting fingerprint sensors from the Galaxy J series." Including fingerprint sensors into the portfolio of devices would help Samsung Pay gain traction as this technology is much easier for consumers to use compared with entering a PIN code. There is also other good news that should help Samsung Pay gain traction as the company is preparing a new application, called "Samsung Pay Mini," which will allow non-Samsung branded devices to use the Samsung Pay service. This should expand the appeal of Samsung's mobile payment service but will be biased towards the online payment market.