Samsung Pay is the company’s new mobile payment system that allows Samsung customers to pay via their smartphone at traditional card readers — whether in a video rental store, gas station, convenience store, or retail outlet. The freedom to pay with your phone without having “the plastic” is a definite win for those who want to live on the cutting edge of technology.
At the same time, however, Samsung Pay is a luxury for Samsung’s high-end handsets. There are no budget-friendly handsets right now that sport the mobile payment feature, and Samsung looks to change that by bringing Samsung Pay to low-end smartphones. This includes fingerprint sensors, which are a way for customers to verify their identity for Samsung Pay (by placing their finger on the home button to confirm identity). The reason behind Samsung’s decision to extend Samsung Pay to its low-end handsets is simple: Samsung is currently smartphone king in 14 out of 15 emerging markets, according to the Korea Herald. In the Netherlands, Samsung owns more than 40% market share and 53% market share in Egypt, with the company’s most inexpensive smartphones being in high demand. With great demand for the company’s lower-end products, Samsung realizes that it could increase Samsung Pay adoption without having to do much more. Though Samsung has been giving away free wireless charging pads and $50 Google Play credits to encourage high-end users to adopt its mobile payment system, Samsung wouldn’t have to necessarily encourage low-end users, who seem to crave Samsung’s more inexpensive devices, to activate Samsung Pay.
Samsung Pay coexists alongside of Google’s Android Pay on Android, but Samsung’s true rival in the mobile payment space is Apple with Apple Pay. Apple Pay seems to have its foothold in the US, but Samsung Pay could win the war around the world in not only Korea but also Europe — putting Samsung miles ahead of its American opponent. The Korean giant intends to launch Samsung Pay in China, Spain, and the UK in 2016.