Will Samsung’s Next Smartwatch Offer Mobile Payments?

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Samsung will use Gear A smartwatch to expand Samsung Pay, according to reports

Samsung is set to take on the Apple Watch by bringing its own mobile payments solution to a new wearable device, according to reports, according to South Korean newspaper Electronic Times.

The new smartwatch, widely thought to be the Gear A device, is set to be released later this year as Samsung looks to capture a share of what is a hugely growing market.

Tapped up

SamsungThe Electronic Times report says that the smartwatch’s system will focus on using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, much like Apple Pay, in order to complete transactions with retailers and merchants, simply by placing the device near a point of sale (POS) terminal.

This could mean it is a stripped-down version of Samsung Pay, the payments platform Samsung announced earlier this year alongside the launch of its Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge devices.

However rather than just using NFC technology, Samsung Pay also uses magnetic secure transmission. This system mimics magnetic-strip payment systems, such as credit cards, meaning any retailer that currently accepts credit, debit or NFC payments can adopt the technology.

This is a crucial differentiator as Samsung estimates that Apple Pay reaches only 10 percent of merchants in the US, meaning there is a huge opportunity for it to capitalise on. Both the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will support the system.

Samsung Pay will become available in the second half of 2015 (probably July), with South Korea and the US the first countries to get the technology. It was revealed last month the company has delayed its next smartwatch following the hype surrounding the Apple Watch.

In order to not get completely swallowed up by press coverage concerning Apple’s device, the company has instead decided to push back the launch of the newly-designed Gear A smartwatch (codenamed Orbis) until later this year, according to reports, with the unveiling now due to take place alongside the Galaxy Note 5 phablet device at the IFA technology show in Berlin in September.

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