Samsung Pay confirmed for a mid-June Australian launch

Alex Kidman 8 June 2016

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Samsung’s contactless payment system will launch next week in Australia.

We’ve known for some time that Samsung Pay was due to launch in Australia in 2016. American Express has already confirmed its intention to be the first financial partner to offer Samsung’s take on a contactless payment system when the service is officially launched.

That launch will happen next week, with Samsung sending out invites to media for an official launch event, though it’s worth noting that this may or may not coincide with wide availability of the service.

While American Express intends to launch with Samsung Pay as the first Australian provider, we may face a similar situation as we did with Apple Pay, where only American Express-provided cards – as distinct from those offered through other banking institutions – were supported. Samsung may have lined up deals with other financial institutions, but as to when they’ll actually offer the service is an unknown factor.

Samsung Pay offers the same NFC-based contactless payment as competing services like Apple Pay or your existing credit card, as well as compatibility with the magnetic stripe technology used in some older reader devices. This was viewed by Samsung as a critical point of difference when it launched Samsung Pay in the US, where payment mechanisms are far more varied than in Australia, so it will be interesting to see whether Samsung makes much of that particular aspect when it launches here.

Like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay is a walled garden ecosystem play for Samsung, as it works only with Samsung’s own Galaxy devices. In terms of strict compatibility, that’s a list that comprises of the Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy Note 5,
Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge Smartphones, as well as the Gear S2 Smartwatch.

For newer Samsung devices, Samsung Pay is already pre-installed, but older devices may require you to download and install Samsung Pay from Samsung’s App store before using the service.

We’ll report fully when Samsung officially launches Samsung Pay next week.

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