Samsung Pay is expanding its availability in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as it's now supported in Lulu and Union Coop Hypermarket shopping malls. This allows shoppers to enjoy a secure and convenient way to make contactless payments and handle their mobile wallet in more hypermarkets in the Middle East. The announcement also brings both good and bad news for interested customers. The bad news is that using Samsung Pay at Lulu and Union Coop Hypermarket is currently available only to Visa cardholders and there's still no word as to when the same benefits will extend to other cards. The good news is that Samsung teamed up with Visa for a giveaway, offering 65 Galaxy S8 smartphones for free. To enter the competition and get a chance to win Samsung's latest flagship smartphone, all customers have to do is pay for something with Samsung Pay or play a game on Visa's official Facebook page.
One of the major highlights of Samsung Pay is that it works with existing terminals, even old ones that are not NFC-ready, so it doesn't require merchants to make changes to their hardware in order to support it. Samsung Pay works with both Near Field Communication (NFC) and Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technologies, offering a simple and secure payment solution to satisfy both customers and retailers. Unlike Android Pay, however, Samsung Pay is Samsung's proprietary mobile payment solution and it's only compatible with select Samsung smartphones and smartwatches. Supported Samsung phones include the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, Galaxy S7 series, Galaxy S6 lineup, and the Galaxy Note 5. Wearables compatible with the service include the Gear S2 and Gear S3 families, though more will likely be added to the ecosystem in the near future.
Customers who own a compatible Samsung smartphone or smartwatch can use Samsung Pay at any location where they can tap or swipe their credit card. Samsung Pay is still gaining ground in the UAE, but its expansion to Lulu and Union Coop Hypermarket malls, as well as the Galaxy S8 giveaway should entice more Samsung device owners with Visa cards to take advantage of this mobile payment solution. The newly added hypermarket stores will feature branded Samsung Pay checkout counters to indicate that they support the service. More details on the expansion of Samsung Pay will likely follow later this year.