Samsung is gearing up to expand its mobile payments platform and will be launching Samsung Pay Mini, the stripped down version of Samsung Pay, in home country South Korea in Q1 2017.
The mobile payment system, however, will not be exclusive to Samsung Galaxy devices alone and will be compatible with all Android smartphones.
The announcement confirms that anyone who has a compatible Android smartphone will be able to deploy Samsung Pay Mini. The app focuses on mobile-based shopping rather than payments. The good news is that the app is compatible with devices that have an HD screen, as well as run on the older Android Lollipop.
Samsung Pay Mini Release
Samsung will reportedly have a pre-event on Feb. 6 before it officially launches the app on home ground. Reportedly, any user who has a Samsung Card is eligible to download the Pay Mini app's trial version from the Google Play Store.
However, the Samsung Pay Mini app will be exclusive to South Korea at launch, which means that consumers in the United States will not be able to use it as of now.
How Is Samsung Pay Mini Different From Samsung Pay?
Samsung Pay Mini, however, will not support offline payments unlike Samsung Pay. The new app has been designed only so that it can offer support for online payments.
The mobile payment service is intended for online stores specifically and will offer support for lifestyle, store memberships, as well as transportation. Some online stores affiliated with the service will also offer a rewards program. The more a user shops using Samsung Pay Mini in South Korea — for now — the more rewards they will be able to earn.
Samsung Pay Mini focuses on online payments and looks to offer a dedicated solution for the platform.
Unlike Samsung Pay which is compatible with select Galaxy devices, the downgraded variant i.e. Samsung Pay Mini is expected to have greater cross-platform compatibility and may work for iOS as well based on previous reports. However, Samsung has not confirmed if the service will eventually offer iOS support.
It is not clear whether Samsung Pay Mini also supports Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST), a notable feature on Samsung Pay.
Previous reports have suggested that the Samsung Pay Mini app will offer users an easy solution for storing their credit and debit card details, which will expedite the payment process.
To make transactions more convenient, the Samsung Pay Mini app is said to store receipts so that users would know what they have purchased. However, Samsung Korea's announcement does not detail if this feature is included. Moreover, the app is said to deploy fingerprint authentication, as well as a six-character password for enhanced security. Whether Samsung Pay Mini deploys this security feature is also not known.
Samsung has not shed light on when the Pay Mini app will make its way to Android users in the United States. However, the company is expected to bring the new service to other markets as well.
Samsung Pay Mini is expected to boost the company's service offerings portfolio, but whether users will take a shine to the same remains to be seen.