Samsung introduced Samsung Pay at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The mobile payment service is a feature found in both the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge, which the company also launched at the event.
Samsung Pay is the Galaxy maker's mobile payment system which is designed to compete against Apple Pay. The announcement of its availability finally answers the question on when such type of service will become available in the consumer market.
The announcement was made by Park Jin-Young, managing director of Samsung Electronics, during the company's first-quarter earnings report. According to Park, Samsung Pay will start to go live in the second half of 2015. He added that the first countries to enjoy the mobile payment service will be the U.S. and, of course, South Korea.
"The consecutive release schedule to the rest of the other countries in the second half of the year is still under discussion," said Park. When it comes to accessing the service using a smartwatch, Samsung said that it will release more details as soon as its payment service launches.
"The compatibility option with the smartwatch will only be disclosed during the launch," added Park.
In a previous report at Tech Times, Samsung said that Samsung Pay will be accepted at 30 million merchants when it launches. However, that statement is true only if the consumer is using the latest Samsung Galaxy S6 when paying for the purchase.
Similar to Apple Pay, Samsung Pay supports near-field communications (NFC) technology and will use the same hardware-based security mechanisms to protect the credit card holder's info from potential hackers and spies. Transactions can also be authorized by using the Galaxy S6's fingerprint sensor, although the process of doing so in Samsung Pay would involve more steps compared with what is required when using Apple Pay. The latter requires consumers to simply tap their iPhone devices on the terminal and use their finger on the TouchID sensor.
Apart from the NFC technology, Samsung Pay will also use magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology for users of older magnetic strip credit cards at point-of-sale terminals. Samsung has already partnered with a number of firms which include Citi and U.S. Bank, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Visa and MasterCard.