Rumors are swirling Samsung is on the brink of releasing its own mobile payment system to rival the likes of Apple Pay, allegedly working with LoopPay, a mobile payment startup based in Massachusetts.
While Samsung declined to comment on the report, some industry watchers believe the digital electronics company isn't too late to the mobile payment game and could be a contender, though not a formidable competitor to Apple.
"With all the loyal Samsung handset users in the world/U.S., I would think Samsung can be a player in mobile payments," David Grano, CEO and founder of VendScreen, a cashless payment technology, told Tech Times.
"However, because Google and Apple develop their operating systems and Samsung is a manufacturer of handsets that use Android and Microsoft operating systems, I don't think Samsung is in a position to compete at the same level. That is especially true of Apple Pay."
One big reason for possible skepticism is the necessity for security and trust by consumers in a vendor when it comes to mobile payment systems. Apple has that in spades, point out experts, as it has spent years building up consumer loyalty and trust through services like iTunes, which has a whopping 800 million users.
Given the success of that retail storefront it's clear a good number of consumers feel comfortable enough already to trust Apple with payment and bank information. Samsung, given no accomplishment on that level, is going to have a harder time gaining similar trustworthiness.
While the electronics company has a mass following in fans who love its product line and handsets, it hasn't done much in the payment services arena. However, the company Samsung is rumored to be working with, LoopPay, uses a wireless technology called magnetic secure transmission to transmit the same information that is stored on a credit card to the store's checkout equipment. LoopPay says it is already at 10 million retail locations and its technology turns payment terminals into contactless readers.
Grano believes Samsung can move into the mobile payment services, if it moves fast and with a good strategy, but he warns that given Apple Pay and Google Wallet and Pay Pal there isn't a lot of room left for many new players.
"The current environment sees many major retailers backing a single provider, which is a nightmare for consumers," says Grano.
"We know consumers do not want to utilize several different methods depending upon which retailer they are shopping with so retailers will be forced to support at least the top three or four providers. That should result in consumers finding Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and one or two others most everywhere they shop. Time will tell if Samsung can earn one of the few remaining slots."