Samsung Pay has launched in Australia, the fifth market where the mobile payment solution is available.
It first launched in Samsung’s home territory of South Korea last August, and has since rolled out in the US, China, and Spain. It has processed the equivalent of more than $1bn of transactions in Korea alone since launch, and has over 5m registered users across all markets.
Samsung Pay’s main point of differentiation is that, as well as NFC, it can use MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technology to make payments – meaning it can be scanned like a card’s magnetic stripe. In countries where contactless payments haven’t yet been widely adopted, that could give it a vital advantage.
There is still the limiting factor of the user’s device, however – it only works with the Galaxy Note 5, S6 and S7 models which have access to the Android Marshmallow update, which is dependent on individual operators. It’s also worth noting that S6 devices don’t support MST payments.
“Australia is a market of early technology adopters,” said Prasad Gokhale, VP of Samsung Australia’s mobile division. “By providing a platform open to all partners, ranging from government to financial institutions and retailers, while upholding the highest standards of security and data privacy, Samsung is fueling the transition to a truly digital wallet.”
Samsung isn’t the only mobile payments provider trying to make a push in the country. Google has been promising an Australian launch for Android Pay since last year, and Apple Pay launched there in April, despite difficult negotiations with four local banks which rejected its rates. Samsung Pay has two launch partners in Australia, American Express and Citibank – a list which notably does not include any of the banks which were giving Apple a hard time.
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