Samsung Pay coming to Australia next week
Samsung Pay – Samsung's take on a mobile-driven contactless payment solution – appears set to launch in Australia on June 15. The electronics giant today invited local media to a product launch on the day, promising hands-on demonstrations of the tech (suggesting local infrastructure is in place and ready to go).
American Express was the first card issuer to commit to Samsung Pay, and Citibank is expected to be another local launch partner. Samsung has yet to confirm if any other banks or providers will be supported at launch.
While the majority of contactless payment solutions use payWave-style NFC technology, Samsung Pay also works with Magnetic Strip Transmission. This ensures compatibility with legacy card readers that don't support contactless payments, at least in the modern sense.
As the name may suggest, Samsung Pay is exclusively available on the company's Android smartphones. It's compatible with the newly released Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, as well as Samsung's 2015 flagships: the S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, and Note 5.
Samsung Pay has been available in South Korea since August last year, and in the United States since September.
Samsung might be facing off against Apple Pay when it launches in Australia, but Android Pay – Google's contactless solution – will almost certainly pose a much greater threat locally. Slated for launch in the first half of the year, Android Pay will work with any NFC-enabled Android smartphone running KitKat or better.
MasterCard and Visa debit cards issued by ANZ (who now also support Apple Pay), Westpac, the Bank of Melbourne, Bank SA, Bendigo Bank, Cuscal, ING Direct, Macquarie, and St. George will all be supported, leaving Commonwealth Bank and NAB as two major omissions. Commonwealth does however offer its own NFC-enabled tap and pay solution via its Android app.