LG Pay has finally arrived in the U.S., allowing users to carry out contactless payments with near-field communications (NFC) readers as well as wireless magnetic communications (WMC). While Google and Apple also enable users to pay at NFC payment terminals, Samsung was by far the only company that also supported magnetic-stripe card readers.
LG Pay is available as of yesterday on the company's current flagship, the G8 ThinQ, and it will also make its way to LG V50 ThinQ 5G, LG V50 ThinQ, LG G7 ThinQ, and V35 ThinQ in the near future. The payment solution will also be compatible with the manufacturer's future flagship devices.
The South Korean company has managed to rope in a number of heavyweights as launch partners, including Chase, Regions Bank, Regions Bank, State Employees' Credit Union (North Carolina), Virginia Credit Union, and U.S. Bank, and hopes to add more partners by the end of the year.
Users will also be able to store their loyalty cards in the app and the company has also partnered with Swych, a digital gifting platform that makes it easier to manage and exchange gift cards for different retailers and restaurants. To speed up the payment process, the LG Pay app also has a feature called PayQuick, which basically allows users to initiate a payment with just an upward swipe. Additionally, the app can also be launched via voice commands.
It is worth mentioning that LG Pay doesn't support the older magstripe machines which need a card to be inserted all the way in to work. Similarly, don't count on it to take out cash from ATM machines. In case a phone is lost or stolen, users can remove the associated credit and debit cards by visiting the company's website.
Back when Samsung Pay was launched in 2015, LG was also believed to be cooking up a payment system of its own but somehow it kept getting delayed until 2017, before making a debut in South Korea. And now, two years later, it has finally come to the U.S. However, since Google Pay already works on compatible LG devices, it remains to be seen if the company's proprietary payment solution will take off. The fact that the LG G8 ThinQ is reportedly not doing so well in the market is not really going to help.
Moreover, Google's, Apple's, and Samsung's contactless payment solutions are already quite popular in the market and they have partnered with hundreds of financial institutions, and thus LG is guaranteed to have a tough time getting its service off the ground stateside.
Nevertheless, if you own the G8 ThinQ and you are interested in giving LG Pay a go, the app can be downloaded on the Google Play store. While the service is still relatively new in the country, a quick stroll down the reviews section reveals that the UI can do with some work and more local partners will be appreciated. Given that the company took so long to extend the payment system to the U.S., it remains to be seen how quickly it adds new partners.