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Samsung Pay Gains Traction In Korea, Readies For US

Tech giant Samsung Electronics has said that its new mobile payments platform has debuted with a bang in South Korea, processing more than $30 million in transactions in only its first month, a tally that the company termed as “beyond our expectations.”

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday (Sept. 24) that Samsung Pay, which is due to be launched in the United States next week and works with readers that use near-field communication (NFC) and ones that don’t, has processed more than 1.5 million transactions to date. As has been widely noted, the company has put forth Samsung Pay as a rival to other payments systems, including perhaps most notably Apple Pay. And as noted by WSJ, the fact that Samsung works with NFC means that the payment platform “in theory” should be able to be used at relatively more locations. The Samsung mobile payments technology traces its genesis to the acquisition of LoopPay.

The 1.5 million transaction level reported by the company breaks down a bit to show that of those using the new service, as much as 10 percent have been using Samsung Pay on a daily basis. Apple, for its part, has not offered up similar metrics for its Apple Pay service, which has already had greater geographic reach than Samsung, as it is already available in both the United States and Europe. Samsung’s initial push, marked by heavy advertising spend, has been confined to South Korea, where the company still has a lead in local market share for its smartphones.

The initial South Korean activity comes as Samsung readies its U.S. launch for Monday into a market that WSJ says has been defined by users that have “stuck largely to swiping their traditional credit and debit cards at legacy magnetic stripe card readers.” A shot across the bow into the U.S. market came last month at its Unpacked event in New York when the company unveiled Samsung Pay.

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