Samsung to officially kick off ‘Samsung Pay’ in S. Korea, U.S.

August 14, 2015
A user demonstrates Samsung Electronics Co.'s Samsung Pay with the Galaxy S6 Edge+ in this photo released by Samsung on Aug. 13, 2015. (Yonhap)

A user demonstrates Samsung Electronics Co.’s Samsung Pay with the Galaxy S6 Edge+ in this photo released by Samsung on Aug. 13, 2015. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Aug. 14 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s top tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday it will officially kick off its mobile payment service at home and in the United States, adding it will continue to expand its scope down the road.

Under the plan, “Samsung Pay” will be available in South Korea as of Aug. 20, trailed by Sept. 28 in the U.S., the company said after the release of its two new devices, the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge+, in New York.

With the two phablets being equipped with the application, users of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge released in April, will also be able to enjoy the service through updates.

The Samsung Pay service, which is currently on a pilot run, supports not only the near field communication (NFC) technology like its rivals, but also magnetic secure transmission (MST) and bar code technologies.

The MST technology is significant as it is compatible with conventional credit card devices, and therefore, it can be used in a larger number of shops compared with Apple Pay. Samsung’s progress was made possible as it had bought U.S. mobile technology firm LoopPay Inc., which has patent rights related to MST.

“It is easy, safe, and most importantly, available virtually anywhere you can swipe a card, in most cases without new costs for merchants, from day one,” said Shin Jong-kyun, who heads Samsung’s mobile business.

The pilot run in the U.S. will also begin on Aug. 25, and the company will receive feedback for a month thereafter.

The company said Samsung Pay will enable a lifestyle in which people no longer need a traditional wallet.

A user can activate the Samsung Pay application through a hand gesture, which will be followed by a fingerprint verification. Shops are not required to go through any updates.

Samsung said its mobile security system, dubbed KNOX, will protect users from potential hacking attempts.

As for misplaced devices, users can lock and delete information inside their smart devices from other devices from long range.

Samsung said is currently making efforts to join ties with major plastic firms in the U.S., such as The American Express Company, Visa Inc., and MasterCard Inc., as well as banks including Bank of America and U.S. Bank.

The tech giant has already clinched agreements with all credit card operators in South Korea for the successful release of Samsung Pay.

Samsung said the service is also set to reach Britain, Spain, and China in the near future.

Over the recent months, the mobile payment platform has been one of the most heated segments among global tech giants.

Apple kicked off its service in October last year, which is available in the North American and European markets. It is set to reach the Chinese market this year.