Samsung Pay is launching in India by mid-2017, a person with knowledge of the matter told Mashable. The South Korean tech company is apparently preparing for the launch of its mobile payments service in India and has already agreed to collaborate with American Express to facilitate that endeavor. Furthermore, Samsung is reportedly negotiating with MasterCard, Visa, and other major financial giants over potential partnerships in the South Asian country, but no other collaborations have been agreed upon at this point in time.
Reports of Samsung Pay launching in India started circulating the industry in December, shortly after New Delhi surprised the public by suddenly announcing a demonetization of several common banknotes. While the Indian government claimed its decision will combat the use of counterfeit cash and suppress the shadow economy, the decision disrupted the country's economy and created a significant shortage of cash. Due to that state of affairs, mobile payments solutions like MobiKwik became extremely popular virtually overnight and are now reportedly enjoying a larger popularity than traditional plastic cards. Seeing how that trend is likely to continue, Samsung is understandably eager to enter the Indian market as quickly as possible.
The Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge recently started receiving the Android 7.0 Nougat update in India, and that update reportedly shipped with a pre-installed version of the Samsung Pay app, suggesting that Samsung's mobile payments solution will soon make its way to the South Asian country. Samsung's alleged partnership with American Express in India also wouldn't be surprising seeing how the two companies are already collaborating in other markets like the United States, Australia, and South Korea. Furthermore, the Seoul-based tech giant is rumored to expand Samsung Pay to more devices over the course of this year. Samsung Pay is currently only compatible with the company's flagship devices launched in 2015 or later, as well as the Gear S2 and the Gear S3 smartwatches. It remains to be seen whether other providers of digital wallets will follow Samsung's lead and launch their services in India, but as things stand right now, the South Asian country seems like an incredibly lucrative market for mobile payments solutions.