When is Samsung Pay coming to Australia?
Samsung's NFC-based cardless payment system will come down under, eventually.
Samsung Pay enables mobile payments, allowing you to pay for your shopping simply by swiping your phone on a suitable device. Think of it as like PayWave or PayPass, but using your phone rather than a card.
Like the existing card options, it can use near field communications (NFC) to enable the transactions, but it also supports magnetic secure transmission (MST), which means it can also work with many other payment terminals. It will be available on Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+ and Note5 devices initially.
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Samsung Pay will first be rolled out in South Korea on August 20 and the US on August 28. That's not surprising: South Korea is Samsung's home country, and the US is its biggest market. Samsung also needs to launch quickly to compete with Apple's similar and already established Apple Pay platform. Setting up the system in any country takes a while, since Samsung has to negotiate individually with banks, credit card providers, retailers and regulators. Its announcement also says that the UK, China and Spain will see the service soon.
So when does Australia get its chance? Samsung Australia says that it is "currently working with local financial institutions to customise Samsung Pay". The plan is to launch in 2016, though we don't yet know how long into the year we'll have to wait. We'll update as soon as we hear any news.
That doesn't mean you have no NFC payment options in Australia. CommBank and Westpac both support tap-and-go payments in their mobile apps, while ANZ is also planning to introduce them this year.