MWC 2016: Samsung Pay Is Coming To The UK

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Samsung Pay is coming to British Samsung Galaxy S7, S6 and Gear 2 devices but no specific launch date has been given


Samsung has confirmed Samsung Pay is coming to the UK in 2016, but the Korean manufacturer has neglected to provide a specific launch date for its answer to Apple Pay, first revealed at last year’s Mobile World Congress.

The payments platform will be supported by the newly announced Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones, set to go on sale in the UK on March 11, as well as the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and Gear S2 smartwatch.

To date, Samsung Pay has been restricted to Samsung’s native South Korea and the US, but the company has signed a number of big names to partner with the launch, most notably Transport for London (TfL), which has been instrumental in getting both mobile and contactless payments into the public eye in the UK.

Pay and go

SamsungPay-Trial_Main_2Recent data from TfL showed that the average number of journeys made using mobile devices has increased from 7,500 a day to more than 35,000, with the launch of Apple Pay in the UK last July suggested as a major driver behind the growth.

Rather than just using just Near Field Communication (NFC), as seen in systems such as Apple Pay, Samsung’s system also packs in magnetic secure transmission, which mimics magnetic-strip payment systems, meaning any retailer that currently accepts credit, debit or NFC payments can adopt the technology

Samsung estimates that Apple Pay reaches only ten percent of merchants in the US alone and believes there is a huge opportunity to be taken advantage of.

The news has been welcomed by many payments firms, who see the launch as key to opening up mobile payments to a wider UK audience.

“Samsung Pay brings more diversity and innovation to the payments market in the UK and a greater acceptance of digital wallet solutions – a growing area of interest for tech-savvy consumers,” said Craig Bottomley, product manager UK & Ireland Verifone.

“The adoption of contactless in the UK is growing, over a third of all cards are contactless. The arrival of Samsung Pay in Europe means greater choice and convenience to consumers and more options for retailers and merchants using Verifone terminals, of which all NFC-enabled ones are ready to accept Samsung Pay transactions.”

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