Samsung Electronics gave more credence to rumors that it is gearing up to launch its own AI assistant dubbed Bixby, with the company saying on its website that consumers have three options when it comes to Samsung Pay: Shopping, Mini and Bixby.
According to a report, Bixby is thought to be a digital assistant that is powered by voice. The tool is expected to be included in all of the applications Samsung makes, including the Samsung web browser, its PIM software and now Samsung Pay. The report noted it’s not clear if Bixby will be launched with the rollout of its new handset, the Galaxy S8. The Galaxy S8 is expected to be launched in March and shipping in April.
The potential move on the part of Samsung to roll out its own AI assistant comes at a time when Samsung Pay is doing well. At the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show last week, Vice President and General Manager of Services and New Business at Samsung America Nana Murugesan told the crowd that, since the introduction of Samsung Rewards, the South Korean electronics giant has seen its daily use almost double. Samsung Pay — which is currently available on higher-end Samsung models — will be open for business on all or most models by the end of 2017. Samsung Rewards is a points-based incentive system for Samsung Pay customers, which gives consumers points for transactions in amounts that double and even triple depending on how often consumers use the service. Those points — much like a credit card rewards system — can then be traded back for Samsung products, other merchandise or cashed out. Those rewards, Samsung pointed out at CES, accrue on top of whatever cards-based rewards consumers are already receiving.