Samsung is looking to expand its contactless payment reach, as they have just announced earlier today that they're joining the Contactless Companion Platform (CCP) initiative, along with ecosystem partners Smartlink and Ingenico. Like Android Pay and Apple Pay, CCP relies exclusively on near field communications (NFC), and not Samsung's proprietary Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST), to deliver payment information from a user's device to a point-of-sale payment terminal. CCP would help Samsung expand the reach of contactless payments beyond Samsung Pay-compatible devices.
The benefit of CCP is that it can be embedded into traditionally non-connected devices, like mechanical watches, and manufacturers don't have to change their designs. In the case of watches, watchmakers won't have to switch to a digital watch to get the benefits of contactless payments that's on Android Wear 2.0 or Samsung Gear S3 devices. The NFC chip, for example, can be embedded into jewelry and a standard mechanical watch, into clothing, a smart card, wrist band or even a key fob. As a platform, users will be able to link the NFC chip that's embedded in their device to a companion app on the smartphone, and initiating payment works in a similar way to how Samsung Pay or Android Pay works by tapping devices to a pay terminal.
However, unlike Samsung Pay, which targets credit card holders, CCP works more like digital cash. It's kind of like a prepaid card, and you can visit supporting retailers to top up the funds in your CCP account. "Rather than issuing prepaid cards for the wearables, CCP gives direct access to the funds," said Sebastian Piolat, head of business development at Smartlink. Users can choose to transfer how much money they want to transfer from their CCP account to their wearable devices for use. With CCP, there are safety features that aren't found on today's prepaid credit cards. You can deactivate a payment fob if you lose it, for example, and timestamps will allow you to load a small amount of money onto a wristband while you're out running errands. Once the time expires, the unused money will be credited back to your CCP account. Like Samsung Pay, CCP users can also integrate their bank cards, loyalty programs, and membership cards to get rewards with their purchases. CCP can also serve as a wallet for your travel cards, ticketing and other services that support contactless payments. Samsung announced that Swiss watchmakers Winwatch and Montfort have developed their own watches with a CCP-compatible NFC chip. More wearables with embedded CCP chips are coming according to Samsung, and a Swiss Fintech company will be trialing smartcards with CCP chips in several Eastern European countries.