Samsung Pay has arrived in Spain, marking the debut of the mobile payment service in Europe.
Samsung Spain corporate vice president Celestino García said in a statement released on June 2 that the digitalization of the banking sector and high smartphone penetration rate in Spain offer significant opportunity for Samsung's mobile payment service.
He cited findings of a company-commissioned research that show 60 percent of Spaniards are interested to use services like Samsung Pay, which would allow them to make contactless payment. A 2015 Visa report showed that Spain is the country with the most contactless payment terminals in Europe.
"We are proud that Spain is the first European market to introduce Samsung Pay, an innovative new service that we believe will mark a turning point both in Spaniards' payments behavior and the evolution of the payments market as a whole," García said.
Customers of imaginBank and CaixaBank who own a Galaxy S7/S7 edge, Galaxy S6/S6 edge or Galaxy S6 edge+ can now download the Samsung Pay app and add their credit or debit cards to their phone. Those who use cards issued by Abanca and Banco Sabadell, however, would have to wait a little longer.
Samsung is currently working with businesses in the country to encourage consumers to use its system. The department store chain El Corte Inglés is already set to issue cards that would allow customers to buy items using Samsung's mobile payment service. Samsung is also working closely with Fridays, Starbucks, Cervecería La Sureña, Repsol, The Wok and 100 Montaditos and is expecting to add more partners in the future.
Samsung Pay's European launch came six months after the company promised the arrival of its mobile payment service in UK, Spain and China, where it has already partnered with Alipay, China's largest online payments platform.
Samsung's arrival in Spain gives it a head start over its competitors Android Pay and Apple Pay because the two have not been launched there yet. Within the EU, Apple Pay and Android Pay are currently only available in the UK.
The South Korean tech company also plans to tap markets in Brazil, Australia and Singapore. In April, the company said that it will roll out its mobile payment service for the Southeast Asian market with the launch of Samsung Pay in Singapore later this year.